By Mollie Higgins
For Unwind magazine
With the recent election, there has been great controversy over women’s reproductive health. This is often a hot topic in the media, but within the past few months, it has seen even more coverage in regards to the regulation of women’s healthcare.
While men and women’s healthcare are both regulated, women’s healthcare is restricted in many more ways. The issues of abortion, birth control and female reproductive rights have long been controversial topics due to people’s contrasting beliefs and how regulated all of these issues are.
A recent study by Guttmacher Institute shows that the U.S. abortion rate is at its lowest since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion nationwide in 1973. Additionally, the rate of unintended pregnancies also decreased last year, with the study attributing both declines partially to an increase in access to contraceptive methods for women.
In the midst of President Trump’s first 100 days, he has already signed an anti-abortion executive order. He also intends to reform the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, which could potentially change the degree of access women have to affordable birth control.
Senior hearing and speech major Tori Levi said, “With the election and all of the changes occurring, I think I have started to pay more attention to what he [Trump] is cutting and not cutting funding for.”
Many students are in a similar position as Levi. Junior government and economics major Meghan Iannarone said, “I think the next four years will have no affect on men’s healthcare, but will have a huge impact on women’s.”
In regards to the regulation of men’s healthcare, there are not as many restrictions. Men’s healthcare was a big focus in 2012 when six states proposed bills or amendments that would regulate a man’s access to reproductive healthcare.
The various bills proposed laws that covered prohibiting a man from getting vasectomies, limiting access to erectile-dysfunction medication, and requiring men to take a cardiac stress test, among others, before receiving a prescription.
While the bills were unlikely to pass, they were proposed to draw attention to the over-regulation of women’s healthcare.
“This last election really showed me that different things are prioritized when it comes to men’s and women’s health,” said senior finance major Rick Brandes.
While there is regulation when it comes to men’s health, there continues to be more regulation placed on women’s health. Trump’s presidency will potentially precipitate many changes regarding healthcare reform. However, no matter what these next four years bring, the regulations of women’s and men’s health will remain an important topic in the media.