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Our opinion: Women’s health screenings save lives

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Editorial | December 5th, 2018

Hornung-editorial-art by Jessi Schmit

Title X was established in 1970 and is the only federal family planning program that provides grants to a number of providers of family planning and related health services. It was designed to provide information, supplies and access to contraceptive services to those who want or need them. Priority is given to low-income individuals by law. In fact, Title X provides affordable birth control for over four million individuals.

Keep in mind that these family planning services provide women’s health screenings as well as STD and cancer screenings. During my visit I learned that the pap smear was named after George Nicholas Papanicolaou, who developed the process and in the course of doing so, revolutionized the early detection of cervical cancers.

According to the American Cancer Society, before the development of the pap smear as we now know it, cervical cancer was the leading cause of cancer deaths among women.

Needless to say, not all heroes wear capes. Remember that, ladies, as you don your paper towel cape, eagerly awaiting and half dreading your physical. It’s never pleasant but very necessary.

Sadly, the Trump administration wants to make significant changes to the Title X program. Obviously, the object is to defund facilities that provide abortions. This would also limit funds to family planning organizations that provide counseling options that include information about not only abortion but also adoption, prenatal care, and delivery options. New funds would be directed to faith-based organizations that favor abstinence and fertility charts.

Can we reiterate that funds would be pulled from organizations like Planned Parenthood in favor of faith-based organizations?!? How unconstitutional it that? Where are our enraged patriots?

Uffda. Maybe we’ll re-introduce women to the possibility of giving birth in livery stables too while we’re at it.

With the accumulation of all these funds, hopefully those faith-based organizations will be providing quarters for the women seeking their services, to keep between their knees as they preach the effectiveness of abstinence to them.

That’s about as effective and damaging as telling a prepubescent girl that not shaving her legs is good birth control, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms. Though on that note, Audrey, my rockstar lady doctor, told me that the skin abrasions and broken skin produced by close shaves and ingrown hairs in the genital area make you even more susceptible to STDs.

What I would really like to know is, whatever happened to the separation of church and state? According to NPR, Planned Parenthood, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union are suing to block the current administration’s efforts to enact these radical changes and alter Title X.

Women’s health isn’t a one-sided issue by any means. We’re not flipping a pro-life/pro-choice coin. Family planning is like the D20 of women’s health (for non-nerds, that’s a 20-sided die used for role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons) when you consider cancer and STI screenings.

If you’re pro-life and pro-defunding the Title X programs, you’re denying women in the low-income bracket early cervical and breast cancer detection and denying young girls HPV vaccines. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 13,240 cases of invasive cervical cancer diagnosed in 2018 and 4,170 women will DIE from cervical cancer.

Now, let’s talk about breast cancer. Mammograms are also a part of these services. The American Cancer Society estimates that 266,120 individuals will be diagnosed with new cases of invasive breast cancer this year. 63,960 new cases of carcinoma in situ will be diagnosed this year. This form of breast cancer is noninvasive but also the earliest stage of breast cancer. Sadly, 40,920 women will die from breast cancer this year.

Providing women’s health screenings isn’t enabling us to be promiscuous. It’s a preventive measure and it’s something that needs to be talked about.

Educate and protect yourself. If you’re not shipshape, how can we fight the patriarchy?

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