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ITHACA, N.Y. – Dozens of males and women clad in pink gathered in entrance of Ithaca’s Planned Parenthood constructing at 620 W. Seneca Street on Friday to rally towards proposed cuts to the group beneath the American Health Care Act of 2017.
A nationwide occasion internet hosting protests all through the nation final week, the sundown rally was a way for Planned Parenthood advocates to precise their calls for, asking the Senate to guard entry to the providers that Planned Parenthood supplies.
Catherine Ramos, a Planned Parenthood advocate from Elmira, stated the AHCA was certainly one of the worst payments for the continued help of women’s rights, making it more durable for individuals to entry to essential preventative care akin to contraception strategies, most cancers screenings and STD remedies and testing.
“(The AHCA) makes it more durable to stop unintended being pregnant, makes it more durable to have a wholesome being pregnant, and more durable to boost a household,” Ramos stated. “It would intestine maternity care, roll again Medicaid protection and permit insurance coverage corporations to discriminate.”
Planned Parenthood beforehand said in a press launch that over 100,000 Medicaid recipients in New York State depend on their providers yearly. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, Planned Parenthood funding and reimbursements by way of federal packages like Medicaid will go together with it.
Savannah Gonzalez, a 14-year-old Ithaca native and new affected person to Planned Parenthood, stood earlier than the rallying crowd and voiced her concern with proposed cuts and threats to entry underneath the AHCA.
“I have been a patient here for eight months now. I originally came here because I want to protect myself from any type of harm that sex can bring me, from STI’s to pregnancy,” Gonzalez stated. “If (the AHCA) takes away entry to Planned Parenthood, being pregnant charges will skyrocket and STI charges will even improve. Many individuals won’t have the proper to determine what selections to make for their very own our bodies.”
Abortion providers, which play a serious half in opposition to Planned Parenthood, are sometimes handled as the ‘black sheep’ of providers, one other native advocate, Rachael Behling, stated.
“(Abortion providers) are solely a small issue of what Planned Parenthood supplies – it’s necessary to level out that protected and authorized abortions additionally save lives,” Behling stated. “Integrated abortion care is important to reproductive health. Unwanted pregnancies occur in numerous ways in which some individuals can’t perceive, and when it does occur, these individuals deserve the similar high quality of care as anybody else who wants a process to enhance their heath and high quality of life.”
Ramos, who stated she had grown up in a conservative-Republican-Christian residence, shared an anecdote from her younger maturity with the individuals joined round her outdoors on Friday night. Raised with an abstinence-only intercourse schooling, Ramos recalled asking her mom what intercourse was when she was a toddler. Her mom replied: “It doesn’t matter because you’re not having it.”
“Like all good cliches, this one peaked when my sister received pregnant at 16 – abstinence-only failed,” Ramos stated. “For my sister, this had a huge effect – she did end highschool, however simply barely, and it was a wrestle. She by no means went to school, and she or he by no means actually had knowledgeable profession. This was her dream, and I’m glad for her – she’s all the time needed to be a mom and she or he’s good at it.”
However, whereas Ramos identified that having youngsters might have been her sister’s dream, nevertheless it was a fantasy she didn’t share. As a lady in her mid-20’s, Ramos stated she paid a go to to a gynecologist to ask about sterilization procedures. Her questions have been met with disapproval by her physician, who replied that she would not have the dialog, trying to persuade Ramos that she would change her thoughts.
“I have known since birth that I don’t want to have children,” Ramos stated. “I asked (the gynecologist) if was okay to have a child at my current age – she said ‘of course.’ I replied and asked her why she thought I was old enough to have a child and be responsible for it, but not old enough to decide that I don’t want that responsibility… she didn’t have an answer.”
Upon shifting out and going to school, Ramos stated she made her first go to to Planned Parenthood in search of contraception – however what she discovered was far more. Ramos stated she lastly discovered the schooling she had been looking for, help with out disgrace or judgment, and solutions to her questions. To this present day, she stated Planned Parenthood is her main useful resource for looking for assist in women’s health.
“(The staff) at Planned Parenthood by no means challenged my sense of self or questioned judgment – moderately, they sought to tell and empower me,” she stated. “While reproductive health stays extremely controversial, the majority of this nation needs entry. I would like each American to have the decisions that I’ve. I would like each American to have the freedom of selection relating to healthcare.”
After everybody had an opportunity to talk, members of the rally took a chance to stroll round the block, bearing pink indicators, glowsticks and cheers. Some even took a chance to make a further lap round the block in the other way.
“I help Planned Parenthood for all the providers they supply and might be eternally grateful for everybody right here tonight who does too,” Behling stated. “Because of Planned Parenthood, lives are being saved – in that regard you’re all the true pro-choice and pro-lifers on the market.”
All pictures courtesy of Ashleigh McGuire/Planned Parenthood.