Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Women's Writes: Repo Women

On the 5th of every month, bloggers from around the world are open to write about rights and issues concerning women. First started by Shine and Marie , we're hoping to bring a variety of women's issues to the forefront to make people aware of what's going on. For the month of May, we've chosen to write about Women's Reproductive Rights and Issues. Please join us in telling us your stories, thoughts, and ideas on a monthly basis. To read the first installment, click here.

I had nothing planned for this instalment of Women's Writes, but after reading many amazing blogs from some hilarious and strong women I decided I needed to come up with something. I'm nothing if not easily influenced (/sarc).

I think part of my problem with coming up with something to write about is I'm a bit out of the loop as far as women's reproduction goes. No, no, I know about my lady bits; I just don't have much use for them. I haven't had a serious boyfriend in years (*sigh*) and what action I do get is limited to one-off affairs. I've never needed the services of Planned Parenthood or a gyno (I heart my Internist!). I'm not a very good woman (but you knew that).

Like a crash of lightening, I thought of the perfect topic for this blog while writing this blog- crazy. Here's what bothers me: Woman's medical services are often not covered by insurance. I've been pretty lucky and my yearly visits and tests have always been covered. My co-pay on birth control (should I ever need it- cross fingers) is treated like any other medication. I can see any specialist I like. This, however, is not always the case and is losing favor at alarming speeds. Many insurance companies don't cover a woman's basic reproductive health panel. Many don't cover birth control (though rest assured Viagra is covered!). Many don't cover mammograms until you hit your 50s. Did you know pregnancy is a pre-existing condition? Uh, hello! What the frak?

I'm not saying this is some sort of conspiracy set up by pro-life advocates, simply that we are still second class citizens where our own health is concerned. Think about the number of woman who are diagnosed with breast cancer early because they had access to mammograms? How many lives would be saved? How many unwanted pregnancies and children put into the state's care if every woman could get access to basic birth control. I'm sure it's cheaper than caring for the over 581,000 children in the foster care system. How many other cancers, tumors, cysts, and other reproductive issues would be caught and fixed if women could get a pap smear?

Thank god I don't plan on having any children, because my current insurance doesn't provide for maternity leave. They call it "short term disability". So, giving birth and bonding with my baby in it's first few months is a disability? Do you know how long you have to pay for STD before you get even 3 months off? You basically have to start now or before you plan to get pregnant. Heaven help the woman who gets pregnant accidentally.

Why is men's health covered and ours isn't?


  1. Great point lady!! I have amazing coverage, so I've never thought about this (chalk another important issue up to my own lack of information). Oh how I would love for Pro-life campaigns to turn their efforts towards the 581,000 children already alive and not-well* in the foster care system.

    I think the foster care system is incredible and this is through no fault of their own other than high demand and low resources. I just mean not-well in that it could be so much better for all that have to use it.

  2. There should have been another * before the I think. I'm so effective.

  3. My gyno told me that I have to start getting mammograms when I'm 35 so that would mean 4 years from now because breast cancer sort of runs in my family. My fracking insurance better cover it (I think it will depending on how my doctor codes it).

    When I recently found about about viagra being covered, I almost screamed. Actually, I think I did.

    Great point made here!

  4. I am baffled by the medical community's lack of concern for womens health. I've been victim to poor treatment and lack of understanding. I think it perpetuates the disconnect we feel from our bodies. If a doctor doesn't care, why should we?

    Thanks for writing this lady, I'm glad you had a light bulb moment

  5. Great post! Definitely glad you participated because I think this issue is huge. Sadly, because so many of us live it, we don't stop to think about all the ways in which our health care system (among others) is unbalanced and insensitive to what it takes to be a woman. It's a hefty job, yo!

  6. @Marie- I also hope your insurance covers it and I will send you some good juju!

    @gofahne- Seriously! Who's helping the kids already born and "unwanted"? Why is it so difficult for us to adopt our own children?

  7. Awesome post! I almost wrote about this exact issue, but my own personal life won the bet. Part of my issue with getting my tubes tied was whether or not my insurance would cover it, since it is considered elective surgery. My company is fairly conservative, and I've been screwed in the past with not having paps covered and such. Seriously. My gyno told me to come in every 3 months (pre-cancerous cells -I'm okay), and my insurance wouldn't cover the last visit, as I had reached maximum capacity of pap for the year?! Forget that! Any who...thanks for the post!

  8. Our insurance plan requires women to pay more for disability coverage - because, you know, we're all going to run out and have babies and take that maternity leave. Here's the kicker - they allow (shorter) paternity leaves and guess what? Those dudes don't have to pay any extra up front. I am paying two to three times as much for Short-Term Disability and I'm absolutely not planning on having kids. So, that's pretty awesome.