This past week Congress passed a “doc-fix” bill providing $200 billion in annual funding for Medicare and healthcare programs. We’re stoked to see that this bill passed with overwhelming approval ( 92-8), and it seems like this symbolizes huge progress in the fight for affordable and ethical health care. But hold on, don’t bring out your noisemakers and confetti yet, there’s a catch, and it’s a major problem.

The bill does provide more funding to Medicare and incentivises doctors to provide affordable health care without the pay cuts that usually accompany being a provider of low income health services. So that wins, and this will lead to positive changes. But a closer look at this bill illuminates a dark shadow of doom we didn't expect to find: The downfall is that the bill prohibits health clinics from using funding to carry out abortions to female patients. And additionally, the bill is giving an annual $25 million to funding Abstinence Only Until Marriage programs. We thought we already fought that fight! But here it is, the push back…

We don’t really get why anyone thinks AOUM programs are effective, considering they don’t work and we have the statistics to prove it. The repercussions of this type of health education are unwanted pregnancies, STIs, sexually transmitted diseases, unhealthy amorous relationships, and increased government aid to single parents and young families who can’t financially support themselves.

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Great idea, guys! Lets not teach young adults about safe sex, let’s not pay for the abortions that result from having unsafe sex, and let's pretend like health care is all CHILL now. We may be receiving federal funding for an array of much needed health programs, but these additional regulations directly opposing women’s reproductive health are devastating. The uphill battle for more comprehensive health care is taking a simultaneous step forward and two steps back. This bill supports Americans, but disproportionately affects American women. People who are going to benefit from this bill? Those who are not sexually active, and people with health problems not related to sexual health. But youth without proper sex education? Without financial means to carry out needed abortions? Without familial support and resources? This bill doesn’t care, and it is not their savior.

 Image Via jaipurwomenblog.org

Bee Gray is a creative writer and essayist living in Oakland, California. She loves studying contemporary culture, media, and human behavior. She thinks life is art, she thinks women are art, she surrounds herself in goddesses, she can't stop talking. Follow her on Instagram @beesuschrist.

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