There has been a lot of completely justified anger over the SCOTUS ruling on privately-held companies refusing to allow birth control coverage through their insurance plans. I am furious with you, as this chips away even more at reproductive rights and the ability of people to manage their health in effective ways. Our anger needs to be directed, though, and used to mitigate the impact of this ruling. Here are five ways to do that:
1) Donate to Planned Parenthood. 20% of US women go to Planned Parenthood at some point in their lives, and many rely on it for reproductive health care, including birth control. Donations pay for birth control for many people. When you go to their “Donate” page, you have the option of donating to the national association or to your local affiliate. You can also make a donation in person at any health center.
2) Contact your state legislators. Let your elected officials know that family planning funding is essential and must be protected in your state budgets. This money, often matched or reimbursed by federal dollars, helps people afford birth control when their insurance doesn’t cover it. Your legislators can be reached by phone, email, or physical mail, so choose whichever medium is most comfortable for you. And don’t forget your state’s governor!
3) Contact your federal legislators. Family planning funding must be protected at a federal level, as well. Let your elected officials know that no one should be left without access to birth control, and that it’s their job to approve a budget that protects that access.
4) Educate yourself on reproductive rights issues in your state, then get involved! People like us are the ones impacted by these decisions, and we’re the ones who need to speak up to defend our rights! Get involved with Planned Parenthood, NARAL, National Organization for Women (NOW), and other organizations that fight for fairness. Follow them on Facebook, subscribe to their newsletters, and stay informed on the attacks being made against our bodily autonomy.
5) Donate to, support, and/or volunteer for candidates who support access to birth control. NARAL, NOW, and Planned Parenthood all endorse candidates who want to protect the rights of their constituents. Their national websites will have lists of federal candidates, and the local or regional branches will have statewide candidates. If you want to make it really easy, Google “NARAL endorsements” and add your state for local politicians! Don’t know how to support them? Call the candidate’s office and ask! Even putting up a yard sign is helpful, but if you can do more we’ll all be better for it!
Whatever you do, DO NOT just accept this! Fight back and make change! The power of the people only succeeds when the people take ownership of it!