Illinois action blog

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Knox College Students Learn about GYT Campaign, Attacks on Women's Health Care

Advocates for Choice at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois kicked off the return from Spring Break with a guest speaker, Brigid Leahy, Director of Legislative Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Illinois. Leahy’s presentation was part of a series of activities promoting the Get Yourself Tested (GYT) Campaign during the month of April.

In response to the staggering rate of sexually transmitted infections (STDs) among youth in the U.S., MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation, as part of a longstanding public information partnership, are working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) to promote National STD Awareness month with GYT.

As many as one in two sexually active young people will contract an STD by age 25 -- and most won’t know it. Leahy encouraged the group of about 30 students to talk to their health care providers and to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). She warned, “When left untreated, STDs can lead to an increased risk of HIV infection, infertility, and cancer. This is about your health and your future.”

Leahy informed the group that now more than ever it is important for young people to be involved in the issue of access to reproductive health care. Access to family planning services has been shown to improve the health and well being of omen and their families. Not only is the prevention and treatment of STD’s important for overall health, but also birth control has been shown to improve the health of women and proper spacing of children results in healthier babies.

“Unfortunately, in the last two years, we have seen an unprecedented number of attacks on access to reproductive health care,” said Leahy. “These attacks have been on the federal and state level. They are happening nationwide as well as here in Illinois.”

At the federal level, the anti-choice leadership of the U. S. House has made cutting family planning funding and restricting access to abortion their top priority. Some of the very first legislation acted upon was aimed at cutting off funding for contraception, STD testing, and life saving cancer screenings such as breast exams and Pap tests. Several bills have targeted birth control and abortion coverage in health insurance. In Illinois, we are currently facing two anti-choice bills – HB 4085, a mandate for ultrasounds prior to abortions, and HB 4117, medically unnecessary clinic regulations.

“These bills are not about improving women’s health,” Leahy pointed out. “Instead they are about limiting access to health care. In fact, the sponsor of the ultrasound bill has repeatedly said that he wants to use his legislation to get women to change their minds about having abortions.”

Leahy contended that this was not the role of government, “Women should be able to make these very private and personal health care decisions without the politicians stepping in.”

Tell your legislator to vote no on HB 4085 by clicking here!
 
Technorati tags: Planned Parenthood, GYT

2 Comments:

Blogger Chuck B. said...

Go Knox! Glad to see my alma mater involved with this!

April 17, 2012 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Tarun Kumar said...

nice blog... now you can find free online guide on women's health problems.

April 19, 2012 at 5:56 AM  

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