Today’s guest post is from local Planned Parenthood’s Annette Magnus:
What a difference a day makes!
When I think of this very popular phrase a few dates come to mind that have made/will make a big difference to women’s health.
One date is November 4, 2008. That date has so much significance to all of us that I do not even think I need to explain, but I will. That is a date that will forever change our country. That is a date signifying change for women and Planned Parenthood for the better, the beginning of an administration that understands why protecting women’s health should be a top priority. It was a day that changed my world as a woman because I feel like my voice will be heard for the first time in eight years, and that my choices about my body will be left to me.Also, that date signifies that all the work Planned Parenthood did in 2008 to educate voters about what was at stake was successful. We made huge gains here in Nevada and beyond.
The next date that resonates in my head is December 18, 2008. This is the day the Bush Administration decided to give women one last parting gift are shocked that the Bush Administration has issued a midnight regulation that undermines patients’ access to health care information and services by allowing doctors, physicians, and health care workers to deny patients vital health care information and services, without the patient even knowing. Under the new rule, health care workers who oppose birth control could refuse to provide counseling to women and couples seeking family planning; employees who oppose premarital sex could refuse to provide couples or individuals testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS; and health care workers in emergency rooms could deny sexual assault victims information about emergency contraception that would prevent an unintended pregnancy. This rule is likely to create total chaos in an already stressed health care system — particularly for low income women and families whose options are already limited. From day one, this administration has made ideology and politics a priority over patients’ rights and needs and this regulation is their last parting shot.
The final date that sticks out to me is January 20, 2009! This is the day that the Obama Administration takes office and when women’s health will begin to matter again! This is an opportunity to being to take back what we have lost over the past eight years and be to move forward. Planned Parenthood has already begun to work with the incoming administration to make positive change. Just in the past few days we have started a new outreach campaign to have Community Heath Care Conversations. The new administration wants our input about the state of healthcare in this country and the improvements that must be made. This is a wonderful opportunity to partner with an administration which understands that women’s health does matter and all Americans should have access to affordable and adequate care.
With that said, we will be holding a community conversation in Las Vegas to allow for everyone to share their stories and thoughts. On Tuesday, 12/23 at 6:00 pm, we will be holding a conference call with our volunteers, interested activists, staff, and Board members. Anyone is more than welcome to participate. If you are interested in calling in please email me at Annette.firstname.lastname@example.org to get the call-in information.
I am really looking forward to 2009 because one day will make really a big difference. It is time for a change and for women’s health it cannot come soon enough!