More than 40 years since the passage of Roe v. Wade, United States politics are still fraught with arguments over the sovereignty of women’s bodies and decisions that make the upkeep of women’s reproductive health all the more expensive and difficult. The year is 2016, and although it may be hard to face reality, there lies a lamentable truth: The accessibility of women’s healthcare is not a priority for many of the country’s lawmakers.
While Planned Parenthood has held its ground in the harsh spotlight, for the past few years in particular, as various bills have attempted (and some succeeded) to defund the healthcare nonprofit, many proposed laws are affecting women’s health in other ways. The tampon tax remains a topic of debate as states individually decide whether or not feminine hygiene products can be considered “luxury items” (hint: they are not luxury items) while birth control safety and accessibility is also called into question. While the sum total of legislative decisions regarding women’s health cannot be considered wholly good or bad, it’s clear that the country is in a state of change, and by voting for officials who have your needs in mind, it’s possible to shape the future state of women’s health in the United States.
These 10 decisions, debates, and movements, have defined the political atmosphere of women’s health thus far in 2016. Now it’s time to get to the voting booth to make sure we continue to move forward.