Thousands of people gather to protest the planned overturning of Roe v. Wade. (Sydney Miller)
Thousands of people gather to protest the planned overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Sydney Miller

To What Extent Should the Government Regulate Women’s Healthcare?

There's a difference between protection and controlling; does the United States government know that?

June 14, 2022

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, the definition of regulation is, “an authoritative rule dealing with details or procedure”. So, should the government be regulating women’s healthcare? Absolutely.

Let me qualify my previous statement. The government should absolutely be regulating women’s healthcare when it comes to safety, affordability, and equality.  What they should not be doing is putting regulations on women’s bodies; there should not be laws that are meant to contain or control a woman’s body and her rights.

What’s vital to understand is that there is a difference between putting regulations on healthcare and putting regulations on women.  Setting healthcare regulations helps people.  Setting women regulation controls and likely harms people.  Creating laws that control what a woman can do with her body affects EVERYONE…it affects the families of these women, it affects their significant others, and it affects everyone that cares about any and every woman.  

Brooklyn, abortion, protest, march
Women are losing trust in a government that was meant to protect them. Why jeopardize the trust of half the population just to control their bodies? (Sydney Miller)

While it should already catch people’s attention that half the population is being controlled by the government, some people may need the extra push.  I want to bring it to the attention of my male readers that this affects you, too.  If the government tells the woman you got pregnant that she isn’t allowed to have an abortion, that is your baby too; you are equally responsible for the conception of the child – what will you do if you aren’t ready?

What if your mother got pregnant with another child, your sibling, but in order to “control population growth” there is a restriction on the number of children she can have, this was a controversial regulation set in China, also known as the “one-child policy”.  In Iran, public hospitals and clinics were blocked, preventing the dispersion of, “contraceptives and performing vasectomies in an attempt to boost birth rates” (Population Matters Organization). 

The issue of governments attempting to control women’s bodies is not strictly an American issue, it’s a global one.  It’s an epidemic that needs to be resolved because as of right now it feels as if we are moving back in time, slowly losing equality, and devolving back into a world where there was a legal social hierarchy and women were beneath men, meant to take what they were given and stay in their place.  This is not a world I want to live in and I have always been grateful I was not born into a world like that, I have always thought that I was born into the best period of time thus far because it is a time where people are able to express themselves openly.  Let’s not go back to a world where this is not the case, let’s continue being a free world and not one where we are shackling people down. 

An example of a “good” regulation would be the Affordable Care Act.  While this act wasn’t set in place only to help women, the idea is to make people more equal when it comes to accessing healthcare.  According to the Office on Women’s Health, under the ACA, “women cannot be charged more simply because they are women, nor can they be denied health insurance coverage because of a preexisting women’s health condition” .

Abortion, protest, march, sign
A sign was hung on the Brooklyn Bridge highlighting the idea that abortion isn’t about ending lives, it’s about saving them. (Sydney Miller)

An example of a regulation that harms women is any sort of absolute ban on abortion.  Abortion in America is a controversial topic, but it’s important for people to understand that it doesn’t matter what side they are on.  Whether they believe abortion is their right, or whether they believe its wrong because of their religion, upbringing, or personal beliefs, it doesn’t matter.  The thing about America is that under the constitution we have the right to hold our own beliefs, but whether you like it or not, everyone else has that right as well.  So, why should the government be allowed to take abortion away from women because the few that vote on it, which is a very biased and male dominated voter pool, don’t believe it’s “ethical”?

Everyone should have the right to make the decision about their own bodies.  One DHS student who would like to remain anonymous said, “no p!ssy, no ‘pinion’”.  While this particular sentiment may sound more vulgar than necessary, I think this student raises a good point.  Why should men have any say in deciding what women can do with their reproductive systems?

My concluding statement is this: don’t take away other people’s freedoms that we have fought for centuries to gain and maintain.  If it doesn’t concern your body, you may have an argument, but it’s not about you, so you shouldn’t have a legal say.  You are there to support women.  The government is meant to protect and serve so why has there ever been a thought about setting restrictions on what people can do with their own bodies?  We need to do better.

Read about a time Darien High School students stood up for something they believe in:

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