Call your gynecologist

WRITTEN BY: Mo Juenger, World News Editor

Photo courtesy of European University Institute on Flickr.

At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, I curled up in a ball and cried. 

Not because I was sad. I wanted to be sad. I wanted to be able to mourn the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the tragic passing of an American icon. I wanted to be able to think about the positive ways she impacted my life, and the ways in which the world will miss her. 

But instead, I was purely terrified. 

As I write this, I’m still terrified. It’s hard to accept that the death of one woman will impact reproductive rights for women throughout the U.S.. 

The shortlist to replace Ginsburg is full of men and women who are actively hostile towards Roe v. Wade. Amy Coney Barrett, the perceived frontrunner, has said that she believes life begins at conception and that Catholic judges should recuse themselves from cases involving the death penalty. She could not recuse herself from a decision in which the Supreme Court was asked to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

Barrett has actively protested the Obama-era Affordable Care Act mandate that required religious employers to cover birth control in health insurance. 

Barrett has said in several statements that she holds her Catholic faith above all else and has publicly disagreed with former justices who have stated that they uphold the Constitution above their own faith. 

Birth control is a human right. Abortions are a human right. Though many of us will never be on birth control and most women will never receive an abortion, these procedures are in place to safeguard women’s health and women’s rights. 

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg should have been mourned as the death of an incredible woman, but instead I am forced to mourn the loss of my rights to my own body. 

In an opinion piece, I am encouraged to find you a solution to the problem I present. In this case, it’s difficult. 

Unless you’re a Republican senator, there is very little you can do about the large-scale issue. You can write letters and emails to Ohio Senator Rob Portman. You can write as a constituent to whatever Senators are present in your home state. 

Realistically, all you can do for yourself is hurry. 

You can hurry up and call your gynecologist. You can schedule an appointment to obtain a long-term birth control method. 

Options include the Nexplanon arm implant, which lasts for three years, or an intrauterine device (IUD.) A copper IUD is non-hormonal and will last 12 years, and progestin-based hormonal IUDs will last between three and seven years depending on the brand. 

You can stockpile Plan B in case of an emergency, but keep in mind that it becomes significantly less effective for women who weigh 165 pounds or more. It is not proven to be at all effective for women who weigh 175 pounds or more. 

If you don’t have insurance, there are several free and income-based clinics in the Cincinnati area that can provide birth control. Winton Hills Medical and Health, Elm Street Health Center, Price Hill Health Center and Norwood Health Center all provide sliding scale or income-based price levels with a proof of residency. 

Your local Planned Parenthood, located in Mt. Auburn, can typically help you to find the lowest-cost birth control method in your area based on your income and insurance status. These locations can all be reached through the Cincinnati Metro bus system. 

Educate yourself on your birth control options, but act quickly. Click off this website and call a women’s health center. Schedule an appointment as quickly as you can. 

It’s okay to be sad that Ginsburg is gone, and it’s okay to be scared for the future. But know that right now, it’s time to move quickly and decisively. It’s time to take action to ensure your own health for as long as you possibly can. It’s time to hurry.