There were so many topics surrounding the presidential election debates — one of them being the fundamentals and protections of women’s reproductive rights. Potential changes could alter the way our generations and many after view sex. So, where does the sex positive movement come into play?
Sex positivity is not all about hypersexuality or publicizing how much sex you’ve had, which are two common misconceptions. It’s about maintaining “consensual expressions of sexuality for yourself and others, with an emphasis on embracing sexual diversity,” says Bellesa, a women’s sex positive website.
Being sex positive means promoting sex education, consensual sex and safe sex. Why does our government continue to advocate against these values?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we once again witnessed a rise in protests against Planned Parenthood. Hashtags such as #ProtestPP and #DefundPP have shed a negative light on the nonprofit organization thousands wish to dismantle. The demonstrators electrifying these hashtags pride themselves as pro-lifers who generously support anti-abortion policies.
The Trump administration has worked tirelessly to eliminate this reproductive health care haven through presidential budgets, health care reform bills, tax reform legislation and federal resolutions and regulations, as well as by nominating anti-PP judges and appointing anti-PP officials.
Contrary to popular beliefs, PP does not only focus on abortions. They also provide patients with public health care programs such as birth control, sex education, STD treatment, breast exams, LGBTQ+ education and so many others not found in traditional medical environments. PP’s resources directly impact tons of Americans — including UM students.
“I’ve never actually been to PP, but I grew up with very little actual sex ed, so I pretty much relied on their website for all information on birth control methods and safe sex that I didn’t get from my school or parents,” said an anonymous senior in the School of Communication. “There’s a lot of false information regarding sexual health on the internet. PP is definitely a valuable source that goes into a lot of detail about how to use various birth controls and how reliable they are to prevent pregnancy and STDs.”
“I went to PP to buy emergency contraceptives at a lower cost. Not only did I receive my pills, but I also scheduled a follow-up gynecologist appointment,” said another anonymous student. “They were very informative and positive about my questions on birth control and sex overall.”
Defunding PP is inherently not sex positive. Approving this mandate of local and federal governments deprives a sturdy population of sex education, sex safety and other sex or general health services.
words_daniella pinzon illustration_isabelle anderson