Hey Big Brother, We Cannot be Silenced

I’m about to commit a thoughtcrime. Big Brother won’t like this, but I am infuriated by the recent banning of seven important words from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) vocabulary.  The words “diversity,” “fetus,” “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “science-based” and “evidence-based” are no longer allowed to appear in the CDC budget.

This is a big deal.CDC 7 banned words

This action, intended to begin to silence the American people, may also lead to reduced quality of programming and essential services. We cannot ignore health disparities that require us to acknowledge diversity. We cannot ignore the word fetus and downplay the importance of prenatal care or pretend like abortions don’t happen for many different reasons. We cannot ignore people who identify as transgender and their unique health needs. We cannot forget that our societal structure leaves particular members more vulnerable than others, necessitating the running of entitlement programs to create a more just and equitable society. Lastly, we cannot ignore the importance of program evaluation to ensure that we are making a positive and measurable impact on the health and wellbeing of our fellow citizens using programming and curricula that is science and evidence-based.

Trump is testing the waters. We must sink this before has the chance to pull on his floaties and wade into the water. So, what can you do? Call your congresspeople and demand action. Don’t know who your congresspeople are? Look them up here. Then, print out this list of the CDC 7 banned words and display it in a prominent place to remind yourself that these words cannot be erased from our vernacular. There’s too much at stake.

Trump Attacked our Reproductive Freedom, Now is Our Chance to Fight Back

By issuing an individual mandate last month, Trump rescinded reproductive freedoms promised to us by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new rule makes it so that employers can use religious or moral beliefs to block employee access to copay-free birth control. Yes, you read that right – your employer can tell you whether or not you can have access to affordable birth control, regardless of why you need it.

Your time to fight back and have your voice heard is now. The Administration is accepting public comment on this rule now through December 5th. You can submit your comments here, demanding that essential health and reproductive freedoms are reinstated.

Need inspiration? Here’s my public comment:

Contraception is a basic preventative measure that makes public health and economic sense. I, and millions of other women across the country, use birth control to regulate acne, reduce cramping and other menstruation-related pains, and to remain in control of a deeply personal decision: whether and when to become a parent, among a variety of other reasons. Birth control also reduces the need for abortions, which is something the Administration cares deeply about. The removal of the guarantee of copay-free coverage jeopardizes health care and reproductive freedoms, and it is time to rescind this discriminatory rule.

Three years ago I made one of the best decisions of my life: I got an Intrauterine Device (IUD). This opportunity was afforded to me only because of the ACA. The ACA allowed me to stay on my parent’s health insurance while I worked multiple part-time jobs to pay for school, and then gave me the freedom to choose the method of birth control that I wanted without fear of cost. What would have cost me over $1,000.00 out-of-pocket was completely covered by my health insurance.

Health care and the ability to remain in control of your own body are human rights. It is our government’s job to protect those rights.

Don’t forget to submit your comment by December 5th!