Yesterday, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that Republicans will, in fact, go ahead with an effort to defund Planned Parenthood—and that it could happen as soon as February. While this is no surprise considering it’s what Ryan, Trump, and the Republican leadership campaigned on, it’s now official that this is priority number one.
The outcry over this move has been swift—and for good reason. Defunding Planned Parenthood, which provides everything from STD tests to testicular cancer screenings (yup, they serve men and women), is an attack on the basic human right to health care. (Reminder: Tax money does not go towards abortion services at their clinics.)
Considering that this—and repealing of the Affordable Care Act—are a top priority for Republicans, it’s hard not believe that this is a coordinated attack on people’s ability to take care of themselves and their bodies, no matter their financial situation.
Defunding the organization that’s such a staple to women’s health has major consequences. But don’t panic—there’s still hope. People are joining together to help prevent the defunding.
Here’s what you can do to stop the war on health. Weekend project, anyone?
1. Let your congressperson—and Speaker Ryan—know how you feel
Elected officials work for you (yes, really—after all, you hire them and pay their salaries), so it’s crucial to let them know how you feel. If you’re not sure what to say, this script walks you through it. Personal stories, anecdotes, and anything from the heart is powerful, too.
2. Continue to donate time and money
In the face of the disconcerting news, Planned Parenthood is still hopeful. In a recent interview, Adrienne Verrilli, Associate Vice President for Communications for Planned Parenthood NYC told Man Repeller that they have seen overwhelming support and they “have the strength to push forward, and the will. We’re not rolling over.” Here’s how to get involved.
3. Join the Women’s March
This peaceful protest in Washington, D.C. (with satellite events all over the country) on January 21 aims to unite women (and allies), champion democracy, and protect our basic reproductive rights. Get all the info here.
3. Get involved in an organization
Since the election, plenty of groups have formed with the goal of preserving the rights of Americans, no matter what happens nationally. One example: Rally+Rise, a New York-based organization (started by one of Well+Good’s editors!) that is lobbying to get progressive laws passed on the state level. Find a group in your area and get going—or start one yourself.
Wellness has always played an important role in politics and activism. But if you’re starting to feel political stress again, here’s some post-election guidance from Gabrielle Bernstein.