Throughout history, women taking charge of themselves, their bodies, careers and life choices, has seemingly been deemed revolutionary, sometimes rebellious, but without those powerful strides, who’s to say where women would be. There is an endless list of things that women would lack without the movements that took and are currently taking place. Certainly, facilities such as Planned Parenthood wouldn’t exist and while that may seem smaller-scale in a big picture for some, it’s nothing small for those who utilize their services.
Founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, shared her knowledge, activism and strong-will with the world when she began studying and educating women on birth control methods. Her knowledge was seen as threatening and brought on time in jail for her sister Ethel Byrne, an activist Fania Mindell and herself — the crimes charged were all related to sharing and educating others on birth control methods.
The first Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau was opened in 1923, in Manhattan which provided birth control devices to women. The bureau also collected information and statistics about the safety of the devices on hand and the overall, long-term effects of it. This start lead to the legalization of birth control, bringing forth an entirely new era for women. Despite the reservations had when it came to Planned Parenthood, they remained strong for over 100 years after its original inception in 1913. Today there have been 650 clinics opened and Planned Parenthood isn’t stopping there — a new campaign has risen to ensure that Planned Parenthood remains “the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care provider, educator and advocate,” according to the Unstoppable website.
Unstoppable is a Planned Parenthood powered campaign to continue fighting for the right to ensure everyone is able to have full control of their bodies to achieve true freedom and equality. The plan is also tackling other issues that many Americans face — needing support as a parent or caregiver, LGBTQ+ rights, health care, equal pay, proper care and prevention for sexual assault and harassment and of course, reproductive rights.
Unstoppable’s user-friendly website shares a surplus of facts as well as ways in which to help the movement forward. Their mission for parents and caregivers is to provide family leave for those who have had babies and ensure that the proper maternity care is provided for women. The site makes note of the rising childcare costs in a nation, the only developed one at that, that does not guarantee paid family leave. Single parents are found paying 36% of their earned income to provide their children with adequate care while they head back to work. For married parents, the cost is 10% of their earned income.
Women of color find themselves in a tougher situation seeing that, statistically, they’re paid less, which makes childcare much more expensive. American Progress reports that 50% of monthly income is spent on childcare for low-income families. According to the Census Bureau American Community Survey, the low-income, working families make up 10.4 million of the nation’s population, earning roughly $45,000 per year. Planned Parenthood is patterned with National Partnership for Women and Families, MomsRising and SisterSong —several organizations that are hoping to inform, educate and change the current state of family leave.
Planned Parenthood is also partnered with National LGBTQ Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality to continue ensuring that everyone is comfortable in their bodies and sexuality without fearing discrimination. The Unstoppable campaign hopes to dismantle the work that the Trump-Pence administration is doing to devalue the lives of the LGBTQ+ community. The Trump-Pence administration has tried to reestablish a ban that prohibits trans people from joining the military, changing rules that protect trans people in their place of employment and even supporting court cases by making anti-gay discrimination legal.
Unstoppable believes that healthcare for the LGBTQ+ community should be high-quality, affordable and informative while providing the freedom to make their own decisions when it comes to their bodies, health and lives without the worry of feeling misunderstood, discriminated against or judged.
Planned Parenthood has been offering affordable services for the last 100 years and they’re hoping to move forward with affordable care. Unstoppable shares that The Affordable Care Act or ACA managed to help 20 million Americans get coverage while making insurance more affordable which ended the discrimination many experiences when being refused coverage due to preexisting conditions or overcharging women for insurance.
Despite the Affordable Care Act, health care remains costly for many Americans. With health care prices through the roof and the trickle down effects of systematic racism, women and people of color — women of color, especially — find themselves running into financial blockade when it comes to paying for care and insurance. The LGBTQ+ community also find it hard to find adequate care due to their needs, but adding the barriers of medical discrimination and bias, doesn’t help one bit.
The Trump-Pence administration is also trying to change laws that will cause millions of people to lose their insurance coverage and their premium will cost even more than it already does. The administration is also making its way to destroy the Medicaid program which could result in 1 of every 5 Americans — majority women — to lose access to and benefits from the program. Unstoppable is working hard to change the number of people in the nation who still don’t have health insurance, which according to Vox, is still around 28 million.
The campaign is also working towards eliminating sexual assault, harassment and any and every other form of sexual violence. While anyone can experience sexual violence, Unstoppable notes that women, people of color, those with disabilities and the LGBTQ+ community are more prone to experiencing sexual violence. The campaign defines sexual assault as “a use of force, coercion or an imbalance of power to make a person engage in sexual activity.” While rape is a form of sexual assault, it can take other forms such as forced and non-consented kissing, groping or touching. These forced actions are often done to degrade, humiliate, exude power over someone. There are certain people who shouldn’t be making these kinds of sexual advantages or forcing these actions on you — those people include family members, teachers, mentors, bosses or anyone who, under any circumstance, has more power over you.
Last up on the campaign’s mission is equal pay and equal opportunity for women. Women make up a major contribution to the workforce with 74 million women in the United States who work outside of the home. Of the 74 million, two out of every three mothers are either the primary or co-breadwinner in their homes. Despite the numbers, women are still fighting to be paid fairly, let alone equally, to their male counterparts.
The pay gap also affects women of color to a different extent — black women earn 63 cents to every dollar that a white or a non-hispanic man earns, Latinas earn around 54 cents to the dollar and white women earn 78 cents. While these cents may seem small, when the figures stack up, women lose around $10,000 annually, according to NWLC.
Unstoppable has several ways to help all of the aforementioned causes — signing the manifesto, spreading the word, posting a story to your Instagram, purchasing an Unstoppable tee-shirt or by making a donation. With gathered help, dedication and persistence, change is possible and Unstoppable is working hard to make it happen.