Recently, we looked at the dental care shortage. Let’s turn to a similar issue: primary care.
The “contraception controversy” has exploded this month, as the government decides whether or not religiously affiliated organizations should have to cover contraception to their female employees without co-pays. It’s a complex debate and an important question, but the struggle for women’s reproductive health and reproductive rights goes far beyond this one ruling. Family planning services, contraception, and abortion rights are threatened, and if women’s rights are not protected, we’ll see huge public health and economic impacts.Family planning services, which include not only access to contraception but also pregnancy testing, screenings for breast and cervical cancer, gynecological exams, and treatment for STIs, are being cut across the country. Montana, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Texas have all made recent, significant cuts to these services. Some states are targeting specific institutions that provide these services; Wisconsin, North Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, and Texas have all moved to block Planned Parenthood from funding because it also provides abortions, even though state dollars don’t go towards abortions. Continue Reading
We who live in more urban areas too often subscribe to the stereotype of rural life as peaceful and idyllic. We assume that, far away from the pollution and stress of city life, people live easily and free from worry. Open air, no traffic, a simple life—great for mental health, right?Wrong. In reality, people living in rural areas often face a higher burden of mental health problems than their urban counterparts. Agricultural communities can see an accumulation of stressors that result in distress, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Continue Reading