Yesterday was simply amazing. I was moved by words, people, and yes signs. The Women’s Rally in Indianapolis turned out to have 4,500 – 5,000 people attend. One of the highest attended rallies at the Statehouse.
I had felt compelled to attend the event for a couple of weeks. The fear of large crowds made me really uneasy. My friend sent me a text and noted she would pick me up. Accountability got me there. That text was a game changer.
I’ve never rallied before for something political. However, this wasn’t political for me. The election may have started these rallies, but for me it’s about access. Access to health care, clinics, and equality. Human rights shouldn’t be political. It has become political over the years.
As a white mid 30’s year old woman I have it pretty good. My husband and I have decent health insurance. That hasn’t always been in the case. Planned Parenthood provided me affordable birth control in college. My parent’s insurance did cover birth control, but the copay was too high for my college budget. I have paid the copay on my birth control since I started it. It was for my body and I felt the responsibility to pay for it.
The clinic in my college town did provide abortions. Every Thursday morning the protesters would be outside with their large signs and yelling hate. I had the unfortunate luck to have to go in one Thursday morning for my pills, not realizing it was Thursday. Terrible decision. I was yelled at and slurs aimed my way. No protester I’m not a baby killer. Just trying to get my birth control so I can be a functional human next month. Give me the hormones!
What if that access had been stripped away? Some months would have come down to my birth control or groceries. If I was going to attend class regularly and keep my part time job, birth control was essential for me. Without it I would be a mess for 2-3 days and very unlikely to do anything.
How stable would I be now if I couldn’t have attended classes? Had to go between part time jobs because I was missing too many days? Stripping away access to people takes away more than the control over their bodies. They could be like me and need birth control to keep their hormones in check. Better yet, could turn the whole country into Texas. Not sure what I’m talking about, read here and here.
The rally yesterday was about more than Planned Parenthood. It was about rights for my brother in laws. What if this legally married couple is visiting us and something happens. We have to go to the hospital, but one of the spouse’s doesn’t have access or rights. That’s stupid and I won’t stand for it.
I’m scared for my friends that are currently undergoing treatment for cancer or other conditions. Are you really going to look at my friend and say, “Hey, for the next year you have to pay all year medical costs with your cancer treatment. It’s a pre-existing condition. We don’t care that a treatment could be $5,000 each time. You pay. Oh well, actually sir you’ve met you’re lifetime cap.” That is an amazing benefit of the ACA. My friend is alive because of it.
Access to health care is a human right. Other countries have it figured out. America, we can do better! We have to do better!
One speaker reminded us of the history of movements during the 60’s. Fighting for women’s and civil rights. We chanted along,
“We will not go back!”
In order to make America the greatest country it should be, we can not go back.
I sat last night looking at Facebook and Instagram. Wow! I know some amazing women that are not standing by and waiting to see what happens. We are going to be proactive and make our voices heard. Thank you to the men supporting these amazing women as well. I saw a number of men at the rally too.
My prediction is that we will see a variety of political quilts made this year. Using our voice through fabric to create.
In order to not just sit on social media and make no impact. I’m resolving to do something. Each month I will pick up some menstrual products and donate to Support the Girls Indianapolis. They take gently used bras and menstrual products. They are able to get them right into the hands of those that need them the most. Homeless shelters, women’s shelters, food pantries, schools in low income areas, and anywhere that can make a difference. I’m sure I will do more over the next few months and years. But today, that is something I can do with my renewed energy.