Being political on my food blog is something I never thought I would do, but as Election Day approaches and tension hangs in the air, I find myself compelled to put my feelings into words. Politics are incredibly complicated, and most voters vote the way they do for a variety of reasons. Most people who read this have already decided whom they will vote for. But before Election Day, I ask you to think about women and health care (and in thinking of it, I will explain a little bit about who I am)—
I have spent the last 5 years working in health care, specifically women’s health and cancer care. There are two huge issues, among others, looming in this election, and they both directly relate to the work that I’ve done. Two of the things that the GOP wants to overthrow “on day one” are Health Care Reform and funding to Planned Parenthood. This makes me immediately think of people that I’ve met—of cancer patients who will not be able to afford care because of their lack of access to insurance. Or worse, those same patients without insurance, not learning of their cancer diagnosis until it is too late, because they did not have the means to see a primary care physician. I think of the hundreds of thousands of women who may not receive screening for breast or cervical cancer, because they do not have insurance, or do not have a clinic like Planned Parenthood to go to for these imperative preventative screenings. It brings to mind the hundreds of teenage girls that I’ve met who live in poverty, but are able to pursue their educational goals because they have access to contraception, and in that access they have knowledge and power. And I think about the women who did not have access to contraception, or whose contraception failed them, but they were empowered with the right to choose. I, like many others, fear what could happen, and how realistic it is that Roe v. Wade could be overthrown. I am chilled by the fact that although women have made great progress over the last century, a great deal of that progress is hanging by a thread right now. Contraception was one of the top 10 greatest public health advances in America in the last century. Lessening access to contraception, preventative screenings, or a woman’s right to choose would not only harm the health of women, it would, in turn, also harm our country.
I know I may have lost some readers with a political post, but I care about women, and most of all I care about vulnerable women. I believe in an America that wants to protect and care for all of its citizens, and that access to health care is a right. Take a moment to sincerely think about the future of women’s health care in this country. And take another moment to think about a woman whom you love. And make sure to go out and vote.