Intrauterine devices for all (in Colorado)

Two different types of Intrauterine Device (IUD), copper and hormonal, such as Mirena or Skyla.
Two different types of Intrauterine Device (IUD), copper and hormonal, such as Mirena or Skyla.
https://freestocks.org/search/birth+control+IUD+?cat=0

I have always wondered why birth control pills were the “easier” choice for women compared to other forms of contraceptives. In high school, I tried birth control pills and in college I attempted to wear the birth control patches, but all of these methods impacted my health and emotions. For some reason I am unable to handle synthetic hormones, so taking the pill is very harmful on my body. I looked into the copper IUD and decided that this was my best choice, but it is something that was never an option when I talked to doctors about my situation. Ever since I got my IUD inserted, I have been in the mindset that so many others would benefit from a copper IUD rather than relying on everyday birth control pills. My copper IUD is viable for the next ten years, I can literally leave it in until I am thirty-one years old. 

I came across a tweet about the state of Colorado’s choice to provide IUDs to teens and women in low-income situations. I researched it some more, and what they are doing is amazing and show advancement in the way we think about women’s reproductive health. The headlines about this topic read, “State IUD program leads to decline in pregnancies, abortions,” “Colorado teen pregnancies dropped 20 percent near these clinics,” they have seriously found a way to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies without sacrificing the rights of the women involved. 

The article titled, “IUD program leads to big decline in teen pregnancies, abortions in Colorado,” written by Jennifer Brown explained the basis behind the decision to provide teens with this option. Brown wrote, “Thanks to a grant from billionaire Warren Buffett’s family, Colorado spent $28 million during eight years supplying IUDs to 75 public health clinics throughout the state, several based inside high schools. From 2009 to 2016, the program provided 43,713 contraceptive implants to women.”

Their plan is simple, they provide teens and young women with free IUDs and $1 per pack birth control pills. Before this program, an IUD would cost someone around $350 to have it inserted, now women are given the option to have it put in for free. These are long-term contraceptives that allow women the choice to not get pregnant before their desired time, and they don’t have to stress about taking a pill every day. Colorado also has laws that allow teens under the age of eighteen to receive these IUDs and birth control without parental consent, so they are reaching a large group of women who probably would not have had access prior to these advancements. 

The results of this decision are so positive and have actually saved the state money, not to mention, prevented many young women from having an unwanted pregnancy. Colorado’s teen birth rate fell 54% and the teen abortion rate declined 64% within the past eight years. These women are being spared from having unwanted pregnancies, as well as not having to go through an abortion. The article stated that this program has saved the state of Colorado roughly $70 million dollars “for labor and delivery, well-baby check-ups, food stamps and child-care assistance because of fewer births to teen moms.”

This advancement in women’s reproductive health has been one of the best state decisions I’ve personally seen. In the news, I see articles about people against abortion, for abortion, articles glamorizing teen pregnancy, bashing teen pregnancy, which is all unhelpful in the scheme of a woman’s life. Providing teens with these long-term contraceptives eliminates all of the unwarranted opinions about a woman’s body and reproductive choices. They are provided with a free option to not have an unintended pregnancy, therefore putting their future in their own hands. 

This originally caught my interest first because I am a huge supporter of IUDs, but also because the funding was about to run out for the program. Brown commented on the current standing of the program, “The eight-year grant is gone, but Colorado lawmakers increased funding for the family planning program by $2.5 million per year, up to $4.1 million. Also, Colorado health clinics have received more Medicaid funding because of the Affordable Care Act, which expanded eligibility for government insurance for low-income residents. Medicaid reimbursements to the 75 clinics have risen from $500,000 to about $5 million annually.” So, it seems like this program is here to stay which is a huge benefit to teens in the future. 

Colorado can be a model for other states, they provide teens with the tools to make a conscious choice about their reproductive health at no cost. They are allowing teens to be teens and not have to worry about taking a pill every day. IUDs provide a sense of freedom that is unmatched to other forms of birth control. Hopefully this will show other communities that there are more avenues to take instead of cutting off options for women. 

 

 

 

 

 

No Choice

By Vicky Diloné

As many know, America has a dark side to its history. What is supposed to be the Land of the Free has at times been a country where freedom of choice is denied.

Imagine this, you’re in the hospital after spending hours in labor and are given strong drugs to reduce the pain. The nurse says you’ll need a C-section, but first you need to sign some papers. She won’t tell you what they’re for, only that if you don’t sign them, your baby will die. Even though you are in pain and can’t even read the English, you sign them and they put you under for the C-section.

Months later you’re with your baby boy and happy to start your new life. Then you get the call, you discover were sterilized. During the C-section the doctors also gave you a tubal ligation and whether you wanted or not, you cannot have more kids. This is the reality for many women, most who are in poverty or are immigrants, around the world, even in the United States. Continue reading “No Choice”

Unshaved Armpits

By Kate Ringer

She is perched at the top of a steep, concrete step, the curve of her calf accentuated by the strain of her pose. There are her legs, tan and endless; a flip of a sleek ponytail; the seductive pucker of her lips as she peeks over her shoulder and leers at the camera; the strip of her flat belly, framed by her tight black crop top and the Daisy Dukes clinging to her waist; then, finally, her perfect butt, like two crescent suns emerging from the clouds of denim.

I am almost salivating, wanting to shout, “Damn, look at her butt!” but I keep my thoughts to myself.

I am not the best feminist.

Continue reading “Unshaved Armpits”

Planned Parenthood

Birth Control Pills
Birth Control Pills

By Beatrice Santiago 

What is Planned Parenthood?

Before we can talk about the resources of Planned Parenthood, I think it is important to understand the history of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood started at a time when sex education and birth control was not permitted in the USA. A woman by the name of Margaret Sanger would soon change all that. She was raised in Corning, New York in 1916. After seeing her mother suffer from seven miscarriages, Margaret Sanger decided to study birth control. She later traveled to Europe where she would learn about not only birth control but sex education. As a huge advocate for Women’s rights, she would soon see restrictions from opponents.

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Margaret Sanger

Her first birth control clinic was shut down by police. (However, the clinic was still able to offer information about birth control.) Margaret Sanger spent 30 days in jail for refusing to pay the fine. This experience led her to travel the country and talk about birth control. Eventually, two organizations named Birth Control Clinical Bureau and American Birth Control League, joined to become Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A 1936 court ruling established that birth control and the information given about it would not be seen as immoral. This was one of many barriers birth control and its education has broken through to reach the public prominence it has today.

What are the resources of Planned Parenthood?

When looking at the website of Planned Parenthood, I found it to have easy to find tabs and info for women or anyone wanting resources. Topics cover: Pregnancy Prevention, to Health and Wellness, Sex and Relationships, and Sexually Transmitted

Infections (STDs). Additionally, there are guides for high school students and information about sex education. All this I believe is vital to not only women but men as well. In Idaho, there are three centers of Planned Parenthood: Boise Health Center, Meridian Health Center, and Twin Falls Health Center. Therefore, if you wanted to go to one in Idaho from Moscow, it would be about a six-hour drive. That is a long distance. Luckily, there is one across the border in Pullman, Washington.

Continue reading “Planned Parenthood”

Does Opinion and Religion Triumph Over Facts and Data?

Women's Center- Planned Parenthood
The State of Sex Education

By Sierra Rothermich

A dozen University of Idaho students in the Planned Parenthood Generation Action group drove nearly 300 miles to the Idaho State Capitol to lobby a bill allowing women to receive up to a 12-month supply of prescribed birth control and promote better sex education on college campuses, according to the New York Times. However, when the students arrived Republican State Senator, Dan Foreman, canceled the scheduled meeting and yelled at the students.

“I’m a Roman Catholic and a conservative Republican. I think what you guys are doing stinks,” Foreman said in a video taken by a Generation Action member, according to The Argonaut.

According to ABC News, the other state lawmakers, even if they disagreed, honored their plan to meet with the students and hear what they had to say. Republican State Senator, Bob Nonini, respectfully disagreed with students and talked about abstinence being an alternative to contraceptives. Continue reading “Does Opinion and Religion Triumph Over Facts and Data?”

WHAT YOUR PARENTS DID NOT TELL YOU!

 

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Picture Courtesy: Facebook page of the event posted by Women Center’s 

By Samragyee Gautam.

In the light of how important sex education is, especially for women, the Women’s Center at The University of Idaho has been organizing various events related to this topic. Lo Que tus Padres No te Dijeron, translated as What Your Parents Didn’t Tell You, is one of the programs co-hosted by the Women Center(WC), the Office of Multicultural Affairs(OMA) and Campus Assistance Migrant Program(CAMP) for students; especially Latinx Students as Latin Heritage Month is celebrated at the UofI from Sep 15 to Oct 15. Previously, WC used to organize a somewhat similar sex-ed event or forum called “GOT-SEX?” that focused on topics of sexual health, birth control, social pressures, and sexual practices. However, it was not focused to a specific student group.

According to Bekah Miller MacPhee; the OVW Project Director, who is coordinating this program, WC, OMA and CAMP came up with the idea as a group. Various surveys and focus groups were held in the spring of 2014 related to sexual education among women of color who also had different cultural backgrounds. This resulted in the fact that Latinx students were under served, both men and women. That’s how it got started three years ago; however, this is the first time this event is called/named in this particular way. Continue reading “WHAT YOUR PARENTS DID NOT TELL YOU!”

Generation Action: The Voice for Planned Parenthood on Campus

Generation Action
Picture Courtesy: Planned Parenthood official website

By Samragyee Gautam

How many of you are interested in talking about sex? How many of you are interested in discussing safe sex? Whether you are clueless, knowledgeable curious, or just interested, Generation Action (GA) is a great place to start. It is a voice of Planned Parenthood; a private organization on campus promoting sexual health and education for both men and women from general health care to birth control. GA advocates for promoting sex education among students.

The main goal of this club; according to the President Emily Carter who I spoke with before writing this post, is to make sex education visible and accessible and let people know that Planned Parenthood is there for any sexual related questions or problems: general health, birth control, STD testing or abortion. Carter, who is a sophomore double majoring in Psychology and Sociology with criminal emphasis and minoring in Women and Gender Studies, joined this club because of her passion for Planned Parenthood. She joined as a general member in her freshman year, but when she noticed the club was not getting enough attention she decided to be in-charge. And as a recent new member of the club, I can tell you that she is good at her job. Continue reading “Generation Action: The Voice for Planned Parenthood on Campus”

Review: Thinx Period Panties

 

By Madelyn Starritt

 

Co-founded by Miki Agrawal, Thinx is a company that makes underwear to wear during your period. For each pair of underwear sold, Thinx funds a pack of reusable pads that will go to a girl in need.

I discovered Thinx period underwear online one day, and decided to give it a try. Here was my experience.

I got the hip huggers, that hold two tampons’ worth of blood, and the sport, which holds one and a half. To my surprise, these were just like regular underwear and weren’t too thick. I was worried it would be like walking around wearing a diaper all day. The crotch area is a little thicker than regular underwear, but it is nothing noticeable or uncomfortable while wearing them.

Continue reading “Review: Thinx Period Panties”

Not Your Mother’s Birth Control

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Woman holding birth control pills

Time and time again, I’ve listened to women who are frustrated with their chosen type of  contraception – myself included. For a lot of women, there is a constant battle between enjoying our sexual freedom and protecting ourselves from the possible risks of sexual activity, and it can often feel like a lose-lose situation. Whether it’s the annoying (or harmful) side effects of hormones (the pill, IUD, vaginal ring, etc.), the struggle of consistent condom use by both partners, or the sheer inconvenience of pausing the passion to check dates, insert, replace, unwrap, etc., it can feel as if we no longer have control of our sexual experiences when the options we choose from are not the best fit.

Don’t get me wrong; all types of contraception have their advantages, and every woman is different in what she prefers and what is right for her body. I do believe, though, that because of the society we live in, we can feel restricted to selecting from among just a few options when trying to protect ourselves against unwanted pregnancy and STIs. As more and more of my friends became dissatisfied with their choices, I began to explore what else is out there. Continue reading “Not Your Mother’s Birth Control”

I’ll Just Be The Fun Aunt Instead

By Sam Kennedy

I was at the register, punching in a round of drinks when an older gentleman who was sitting at the bar started asking me questions. It was general small talk and I revealed my major, my career plans for when I graduated, if I was planning on moving… etc. etc.
It started to take a sour turn though when I made an offhand joke about wishing my boyfriend and I could afford to do nothing except travel.
The gentleman laughed and replied, never_illustration_libertyantoniasadler_metro“Good luck doing that with kids!”
I know I could have easily agreed and laughed it off or politely smiled, but I wasn’t thinking about where this conversation was going.

I cheerfully responded, “Actually, my boyfriend and I don’t want to have kids.”

He looked surprised. “Oh! You guys not a very serious relationship?”
I laughed awkwardly. “No, we are. Just-”
“Ah, you kids are young. You’ll change your mind.” He cut me off and waved a hand dismissively.
This is where I nodded and smiled politely, hoping the discussion was over.
After a moment of silence he asked, “How old are you?”
“Almost 22.”
“See, you’re still a baby yourself! Couple years roll around and your biological clock will start ticking and that’s all you’ll be thinking about.” He shook his head and took a long drink from his beer. “Everyone’s more interested their career than family nowadays…You’ll see though. Just give it time. Once you actually settle down, you’ll want them.”

I know he didn’t mean any harm. I’m sure in his mind, he thought he was being nice or helpful.
But I was seething. I couldn’t help it. I have been having this discussion with people since I was 12 years old—and I’m getting tired of it.

Continue reading “I’ll Just Be The Fun Aunt Instead”