When I started Ask Me About My Uterus, I intended for it to be a platform as well as a place of resource. Today, all I can think of to do is try to offer actionable information regarding reproductive health moving forward.
You may not be able to process this today, and that’s okay. But take action in the way that is best for you, and your health, as soon as you can. And don’t be afraid to ask questions, to ask for help, to ask for advice.
First, remember this: in terms of health insurance, even if the repeal of Obamacare is one of the very first things that happens in the next few months, there will be a transitionary period — maybe as long as 2 years — before people who get insurance through the marketplace or Medicaid begin actually losing their coverage.
What You Can Do Right Now:
- If you can get an IUD, get one. They last 3–10 years, depending on which one you get. While they are an upfront investment, they will not be an expense to you over the next few years. They are safe, reliable, and the only contraception you can “get and forget”.
- Talk with your doctor about all your medications, including birth control. Many people use birth control or other hormonal medications for reasons that have nothing to do with contraception, and so an IUD does not solve all the problems associated with losing access. Find out what your options are, and don’t be afraid to ask for options.
- Contact the manufacturer of your medications directly. Believe it or not, some pharmaceutical companies have programs that can help you get medication at a very reduced cost, or even free. It’s absolutely worth asking if you qualify. Some programs are year-long, and you can reapply each year. Others may be more temporary, but they can get you through an immediate crisis.
- Seek out alternatives that are affordable and do not require insurance, especially if we are going to lose Planned Parenthood. Prjkt Ruby offers birth control without a prescription. You can purchase STD tests online, without insurance — and get treatment, should you need it — through MyLabBox.
- Get your preventative care and screenings as soon as you can. If you can’t get an appointment with your regular doctor for months, go to a clinic.
- Emergency contraceptive pills, like Plan B, have a long shelf life — like 3 or 4 years. Buy some, stock up. If not you, someone you know will likely need it eventually.
- If you have a therapist, psychiatrist, or social worker who you see regularly for your mental health, find out how much it would cost to see them without insurance. Some can, and do, offer clients a sliding scale. If they can’t, ask them for a referral to someone who does.
- If you are transgender, use resources like MyTransHealth to find providers willing and able to help you access healthcare. Never forget that this is your human right.
- There is a very real possibility that access to safe and legal abortions will disappear if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Promise us you will not attempt to induce an abortion through risky, unsafe means. Our promise to you is that we will do everything in our power to provide you with information and resources promoting access to safe abortions if and when they are made illegal. We will work together with our friends at Planned Parenthood and within the larger reproductive health communities to help you stay safe, no matter what happens.
- If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it will likely send the decision back to individual states — overturning it won’t necessarily mean abortions will be illegal everywhere, at least not at first. But what that means is that, again, access to safe, legal abortions will still be the privilege of those who are able, and can afford, to cross state lines. This is what it was like in America before Roe v. Wade when individual states decided whether or not abortion would be legal.
We will update this post throughout the next few weeks as more resources and information become available. Each and every one of you matter, and we are so glad that you’re here and part of this community. This will always be a safe, inclusive space for you. We will take care of each other, empower each other, and continue to speak up about these issues.
Take care of yourselves, and each other, today and every day.