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After I had my 1st son, I requested an IUD instead of the pill. I was on Medicaid at the time and the state (MD) refused to cover the cost. My OB appealed, they denied it again. It was either the pill or nothing aka having to get other contraception (ex: condoms) on my own.
After I had my second son, I requested an IUD as my form of BC. I was on Medicaid and the state (this time NJ) refused to cover the cost (I was told it was $800–this was in 2010). My OB appealed. Denied. Back to square one again.
The state refused to pay for me to have effective birth control that would keep me from having another child much better than the pill, nuva ring, or shot. (I’ve had all 3, still got pregnant using 2 of them)
Instead, the state decided it would be cheaper to put me on a less effective form of birth control. The state decided the potential of me having another child & needing social services to care for it was worth the risk-even though it would cost them more $$$ later if I did.
How much sense does that make? Zero. Just another example of how Black & Brown people’s reproductive rights are restricted & how policies at the state level don’t allow us to make choices that would benefit us more than their bottom line.
In April 2017, while living in California, I had a bilateral salpingectomy (Fallopian tubes removed aka tubal ligation). I had private insurance through my husband’s employer by this time & my third son was 3.5yrs old.

It took me nearly 9 months to get Kaiser’s approval for it

I had to have an initial appt w/my OBGYN to express my desire for one & discuss my options. That appt involved 30 mins of being told about every other form of BC available instead of about my tubal ligation options.
I was repeatedly asked if I was “sure” I didn’t want to try another method first. I explained I was a #PPD survivor, live w/bipolar disorder, have had 4 pregnancies and 3 kids (2 of which are neurodivregent) so my hands were FULL, and I was DONE.
I shared how other forms of BC fucked with my other medications and impacted my mood-even ones w/less estrogen. I shared how the IUD I finally DID get (thanks private insurance!) made my hair fall out & sent me into a severe depressive episode.
I shared ALL of that w/my OBGYN at Kaiser and she STILL asked me if I was “sure” about sterilization. THEN, she said ok, but first I’d have to watch a series of videos WITH MY HUSBAND and talk to him to get his “thoughts & feelings”.

Then come back for a follow up.
After the appointment she sent me links to 3 videos I had to watch. At my follow up appointment she asked if I’d spoken with my husband and if he WAS OKAY WITH ME BEING STERILIZED.

Then I was asked again if removing my Fallopian tubes was what I wanted vs. another form of BC.
At the end of this 2nd appointment, she had me sign a waiver, basically indemnifying Kaiser and the state of CA from any responsibility if I suddenly had a change of heart after waking up in post op tubeless.

Then I had to have a consult w/the surgeon.
The surgeon’s consult was yet another appointment where more time was spent asking me if I wanted THIS procedure instead of informing me of the actual details of it.
Are you with me? 3 appointments, 3 videos and a waiver over the course of 6 months. That’s how long it took to just get the gotdamn approval. Then the earliest I could get on the surgery schedule was in 3 months.

Nine damn months (the length of a pregnancy) for this process.
Morning of my surgery, I’m asked to sign a new waiver because the one I’d signed 8 mos prior was expired. Then i was asked again if I wanted to try another method. I practically screamed no.
I have been officially sterile for 2 years and 1 month and I have enjoyed every gotdamn minute of it.

But the 9 month process just to GET A TUBAL LIGATION nearly drove me out of my mind. The constant questioning. The hoops to jump through.

All of that to say: I’ve never had an abortion (although I seriously considered having one for my oldest son), but I do have experience w/having my reproductive rights questioned & my family planning choices essentially being made for me
I know what it’s like to be told I don’t know what’s best for me, my sex life, my health, and my family. I’ve been told that my partner has to have a say in what I’m choosing to do with my own body that he doesn’t live in.
I know what it’s like for the full weight and responsibility of family planning to be placed on me, a person w/a uterus instead of the person who literally has what it takes to cause fertilization.
It’s BULLSHIT that anyone sperm doesn’t have to bear any responsibility and that everyone with a uterus does and is faced with the threat of criminalization on top of that if they don’t choose to use that uterus for pro-creation
Every. fucking. person. with a uterus has the right to decide what happens with theirs. Fuck religion. Fuck opinions. Fuck debates about when life “begins”. Fuck sperm carrying individuals deciding what should be allowable for someone else to do with their body.
Access to safe and legal abortions is a must. The ability to make whatever choice is right for the individual should not be under constant attack. Bodies w/uteri are not for regulating, policing or forcing outcomes that create harm for that person, their body & their life.
Reproductive rights are human rights that should not be restricted, minimized,stripped away, or manipulated to serve a misogynistic, oppressive, patriarchal, dehumanizing agenda rooted in religious zealotry. Access to a safe and legal abortion is a constitutional right. Full stop
I’ve never had an abortion but I fully fucking support the right for anyone with a uterus to have one. It is terrifying that in 20fucking19, we are actually making laws that force pregnant people to have children or be criminalized.
This shit is a living nightmare, but we’ve gotta fight like hell to endure it isn’t a permanent one. Donate, find local grassroots orgs & activists & centers to support. Vote vote vote.
Apologies for typos-I was tired + angry and my thumbs & eyes couldn’t keep up. 🤷🏽‍♀️
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