A gathering of distinctively Y chromosomes, also known as the House Freedom Caucus, converged on the White House to demand the dismemberment of women’s healthcare Thursday, March 23. Perhaps they think that being male gives them an unbiased perspective of women’s healthcare needs. Maybe they think women are just too close to the issue to judge it without prejudice, so they are really doing the female half of the population a favor by ignoring their input and relying solely on the judgement of men. You know, men who do not have ovarian or cervical cancer and have a far lower incidence of breast cancer. These men want everything that uniquely covers women to be excluded from mandatory health coverage and listed as optional, thus making it a literal pre-existing condition to be a woman.
Senator Pat Roberts even had a joke, at the expense of all women who have been stricken with breast cancer, as he sarcastically stated,
“I wouldn’t want to lose my mammograms.”
Well, Senator Roberts, if you were a woman, you certainly wouldn’t want to lose them, or be forced to pay much higher insurance premiums simply because you have breasts. Here are some facts for you to ponder:
Here are the projections by the American Cancer Society for 2017:
- About 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
- About 63,410 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
- About 40,610 women will die from breast cancer.
While yes, men can develop breast cancer, let us put this in perspective. Approximately 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime as opposed to 1 in 1,000 men.
The death rates for breast cancer have been decreasing since 1989, in large part, due to public awareness and early detection screenings, which include (you guessed it) mammograms. Millions of women are alive today because of mammograms, Sen. Roberts. Millions. Despite this, breast cancer is still the second deadliest cancer among women in the United States. Without coverage for early detection, how many more women will die as a result of this disease? How many women are you willing to sacrifice, Sen. Roberts, simply because it is an illness you are unlikely to develop?
Also, I was just wondering when the Trump administration was going to hold a conference comprised of women to discuss the necessity of medical coverage for prostate exams? I have been digging through Trumpcare and simply cannot find where they are saying that prostate exams should be optional coverage.
You know, I am a woman and I do not have a prostate! Surprise! I wouldn’t miss my prostate exams, either. But, the truth is, I don’t want to take prostate exams away from men. Maybe it is just those duo X’s I have making me more compassionate, but I’d rather like to think it is because I am a decent human being who doesn’t get my jollies by watching people needlessly die. Make no mistake, that is what we are talking about. These hardliners in the GOP want more of the people they think of as unsavory to just die. To these people, if you aren’t wealthy enough to afford designer healthcare, then you are subhuman. You don’t deserve to live. And only white men have the right to determine your rights to life and liberty. You have only to look at this room, this meeting regarding the future of women’s healthcare, to see exactly how much the white patriarchy is still in control of the GOP.
For the millions of women who have survived breast cancer, and the millions more who have died, and the hundreds of thousands who will be diagnosed in the coming months, breast cancer is no joke. RESIST.
We are One Woman, One World
Ann Lavendar Truong
Additional resources for the Resistance! (Thanks Dr. Fisher for sending me this link)
Links: More ways to find me or colleagues of mine to check out!