For a country that puts so much emphasis on the values of individual freedom and self-determination, we sure have a funny way of showing it – especially when it comes to reproductive health. If cognitive dissonance were an illness rather than a theory, I would say that the United States has a really bad case of it.
If we truly believe that all people should have the ability to make the best decisions for themselves and to determine the course of their lives, we should take action to promote individual freedom and facilitate exercising of personal autonomy.
When it comes to reproductive health, we aren’t living our American values and ensuring that people have adequate information, services, and care. Instead, we withhold information and resources that women need to plan for healthy pregnancies and plan their futures. Last year alone, states enacted 42 pieces of legislation intended to restrict access to critical health services, including contraception and abortion. Just last week, House Republicans stripped the “Violence Against Women Act” of protections for LGBT domestic violence victims, Native Americans, and undocumented immigrants.