Opinion | At a Clinic Threatened by Trump’s Rules, She Asks, ‘Why Attack Women?’


“If we don’t have access to birth control, then honestly, pregnancies are going to skyrocket,” warned Linsley Myers, 23, a community college student who came to the clinic because, as she put it, “my vagina is acting up.”

Since West Virginia gave Trump the highest margin of any state in the 2016 election, I asked Myers what she would say to Trump today. Her response: “Why attack women?”

Sarah Riddle, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood for the region, said that without Title X money, the organization may be forced to close the clinic.

Andrew Clovis, 53, a plant nursery manager, is gay and was at the clinic to begin PrEP treatment, which sharply reduces the risk of contracting H.I.V./AIDS. If the clinic closes, he said, there will be no place nearby to receive the treatment.

Across the United States, a large share of Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics are losing funding under the new regulations. Private gynecologists will still serve women with insurance, but those without insurance will be even less likely to get contraception or cancer screenings.

Title X is an odd target because it is the gold standard of cost-effectiveness. In 2010, one study found, publicly funded family planning averted 2.2 million unintended pregnancies, 99,100 cases of chlamydia and 3,680 cases of cervical cancer.

Why is a man writing about women’s health? Partly because these are issues of health and fairness that we all have a stake in — gonorrhea has a way of spreading from one sex to the other. And partly because men, too, have an obligation to speak up when half the population is treated unjustly.


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