Two years ago I received the opportunity to write monologues for Draw the Line - a campaign for the Center for Reproductive Rights. The research involved reading and listening to a series of first-hand accounts from women who have come face to face with the repercussions of our healthcare system, primarily focusing on reproductive health. I remember crying over each story. Sobbing, as I took notes about their experience. I remember wondering if it was something I could actually do - hear their stories and rework them into monologues, while still having them remain true to themselves. I did the best I could, but it was no easy feat.
Since then, I have heard countless other stories from friends, family, and strangers. Stories regarding healthcare and the frustrations they have endured simply trying to take care of their bodies. With the announcement of the new healthcare bill (which includes deep cuts to Medicaid and fundamentally reshapes the program from an open-ended government commitment to a system of capped federal payments that limit federal spending), my mind has been thinking more and more about these stories. And it pains me to think about all that can change if this passes. People will die. Women will lose more rights to their bodies than before. Money will be taken from the poor and the sick, and given to the wealthy. How is this at all okay? How is this fair? When all we want is to protect our bodies and those we love. We all deserve the right to affordable healthcare. We all deserve the opportunity to take care of ourselves.
The women whose stories I read for Draw the Line, most of them were facing serious health issues themselves. They didn't choose to have an abortion lightly. They chose to protect themselves and their child in the best way possible. We all deserve to have a choice with what we want to do with our bodies.
So, I'm asking (pleading/begging), please contact your Senators (and even those in other states) and share your own story with them. You can call them at (202) 224-3121. Tell them how you feel about this new healthcare plan and how you see it affecting yourself and others. And please remember, it is your body. It doesn't belong to anyone else but you.