“I have a history of ovarian issues in my family and a history of birth control affecting us in weird ways. Getting birth control in the first place was easy as my university had a women’s clinic. That birth control was fine until my insurance company put me on a cheaper brand. That’s when it all went down hill. I would bleed for two weeks instead of one and would have horrendous mood swings that ranged from furious to suicidal. My family wouldn’t want to be with me in the week leading up to my period. I also would get UTIs every other month. I had to go to a specialist who put me on another brand which didn’t help and had to go to another specialist who put me on one that upped both estrogen and progesterone. Finally, instead of being angry and depressed I just wanted to watch videos of cute animals. Luckily, my insurance still does cover this but if laws were to change I might not be able to afford and attain these pills. I would have to choose between being abstinent, having horrible physical or mental health or having one less layer of reproductive safety.”
“Current U.S. societal norms regarding women’s health makes me sad. I feel like the world is ready to sexualize women but not ready to listen to them. There are some people who lack empathy and cannot understand what it’s like to be a young girl starting her period for the first time, a young woman going to a gynecologist for the first time or being an older woman going through menopause. It can all be really scary. The only age that seems to be important is between 18-30 years old and after that women become invisible to society. Specifically in regards to contraceptives, society tends to be especially unforgiving. People feel like all babies have the right to be born but don’t care to worry if they’ll have a good life afterward.”
“I think we as a society need to ingrain a sense of empathy and understanding in all people. Society needs to make it OK for everyone to have emotion and to not endorse the patriarchy and rape culture I feel like we currently have. Then we can start working on getting women the health services they need without fear of stigma and sexism.”
“I had just moved to East Lansing and didn’t have a PCP yet. I was a month away from the end of my birth control prescription. I called around for hours until I found a center that accepted my insurance and that had the shortest new patient wait list of FOUR MONTHS. This meant I either had to find another way to get my prescription refilled or abstain from sex/risk it for 3 months. Luckily, I was able to get an appointment at Planned Parenthood, THE NEXT DAY. I walked out that day with my first comprehensive STD screening, a prescription for birth control, and a sense that I was respected."
“I feel substandard, especially when it comes to women’s reproductive rights. Society makes it so easy for men to practice consensual, consequence-free sex. For men it’s a matter of driving to the nearest drug store or gas station and buying a box of condoms. For women, it’s much harder to practice that same right. It requires scheduling appointments months in advance, paying for those appointments, waiting to get a prescription filled, answering prescreeing questions about your sexual history, and sometimes paying out of pocket for birth control directly. And the fact that the one place women can always go to in order to receive birth control in a timely matter, or to receive a free pregnancy test, or to talk about any questions you have is actively being fought against and defunded saddens me. I think society places an immense amount of pressure on women to carry all the “burden” of her sexuality. Women are told the worst thing they can do is have an abortion, and here they are, taking every tiny step, leaping through every tiny hoop to make sure it doesn’t happen, and legislation and religious groups throw increasing smaller and smaller hoops for women to jump through until it’s nearly impossible to succeed. While having an abortion is not, and likely never will be, illegal, tiny laws here and there chip and chip away from women’s access to birth control, abortions, and sexual education.”
We pay for half of our insurance and the state pays the other half. You can get access to sexual health for free in some places. They're more for people who can't afford doctors.
Making Planning Familial more accessible and easy to go to would improve women's health. Giving out more information on women's health would help raise awareness.
There is more responsibility on patients here than in the United States. For example, you receive a prescription from the Doctor, and then you have to find the lab. You feel less taken care of in France, because you have more responsibility to follow up and be aware of what you need to do to get the care you need.
Healthcare is more affordable here because it is more universal. They try to make coverage less expensive in France.