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Birth Control: A list of questions for Donald Trump

<ve a few questions that I would like to ask the Trump administration. A rollback of an Obama-era rule mandating birth control coverage by employers was recently announced. But what do they think will happen when employers stop covering birth control? Do they think that people will stop having sex just because they don’t have access to birth control anymore?

What about abortion? In a particularly infuriating case, the Trump administration recently sought to delay and forbid an undocumented teenager from getting an abortion. Thankfully, they failed, but my question is: What do they think will happen if abortion is made illegal? Do they think people will stop getting abortions just because it’s not legal? How do they reconcile their apparent desire to end abortion with their concurrent efforts to make birth control harder to obtain? Do they really not see the gap in this so-called logic?

We do not live in the seventeenth century, nor do we live in The Handmaid’s Tale, although sometimes it seems like we do. People are still going to have sex, need birth control, and need abortions, whether all of it is legal or not. It’s just going to be less regulated, more dangerous, and more underground. Do people advocating these kinds of bills not understand this? Do they not care? Do they hope that, if only their bill can get passed, people with uteruses will suddenly become docile and obedient and only have sex when they’re married to nice, respectable men? Do they think that no one will protest this? Do they think that they can pass it anyway, in spite of the protests, in spite of what people actually want and need?

I take it back—we might be in The Handmaid’s Tale, after all. Am I supposed to let a room full of men decide on my behalf how I should handle my private healthcare decisions? Am I supposed to sit still, be quiet and accept that this is just the way things are now? As a society, are we supposed to stand by as a teenager in an already unbelievably stressful and upsetting situation is threatened and denied medical care that she needs, by the government, for no discernible reason? Are we supposed to accept that yes, under President Obama we had coverage of birth control, but now it’s gone, and that’s okay? It’s not okay.
I am grateful that we do not attend a college that might revoke access to these things, just because the Trump administration has said that it can. But the same cannot be said for all people our age. While it has (for now) changed its mind, the University of Notre Dame recently announced that it was planning on revoking coverage to birth control for its students and employees. Colleges and universities could revoke this coverage at any time. Under the Trump administration, there is nothing stopping these institutions from refusing to cover birth control for the many people dependent upon their health insurance plans. My question is: why? What possible use does this have? What possible purpose does this serve?

It seems to me that the only purpose such actions serve is to try and control people’s private medical decisions, to erode their reproductive freedom, and to form a society that is more and more reminiscent of the Republic of Gilead. That fictional country terrified me when I first read The Handmaid’s Tale. But it’s even more terrifying now, when it seems to be leaping off the page, one news story and executive order and bill at a time, diminishing our freedoms and hoping that we won’t stop and ask any questions as it does.

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