Wednesday 21st February 2018,
The Transcript

Women’s reproductive rights deserve attention

The last time a high-profile political figure ate at Bun’s Restaurant on Winter Street, he certainly didn’t talk about the dangers facing women should we lose the right to make decisions over our own reproductive systems.

It might come as no surprise that I did not attend the rally for Mitt Romney at Bun’s during the 2012 presidential election. From his stance on health care to his horrible white-ombre sideburns, there really aren’t too many nice things I have to say about the former governor of Massachusetts.

But it wasn’t all about poor Mitt. No, bad politics could never keep me from eating. But yours truly eats gluten-free, making Bun’s, a restaurant named after bread, a less than ideal dining option.

However, when I was offered the chance to have dinner there with Connie Schultz one of my field’s icons and an all-around badass, the scary possibility of ingesting gluten didn’t even cross my mind.

If you haven’t heard of Schultz, you should really look her up. She is a Pulitzer Prize winner, a nationally syndicated columnist and the author of two books. After raising her daughter as a single mother while climbing the ladder of success at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Schultz found herself a man actually worthy of her time.

His name is Sherrod Brown, and he is Ohio’s senior senator.

It can’t be easy being married to a political power player when you have a reputation as a righteous political journalist, but if anyone can do it, it’s Schultz.

Not only has she done it well in the past, she is continuing to do it well today. She recently singled out Governor John Kasich’s claim that he was a “moderate” by bringing up his war on Planned Parent during an appearance on MSNBC several weeks ago.

Schultz was telling that story at dinner when she looked up and asked me if girls my age realized what Kasich is attempting to do with women’s reproductive rights in Ohio, and whether or not we realize all that is at stake.

I responded by saying I believe our news sites are oversaturated and sometimes the importance of certain issues does not get through to my age group.

The incessant updates on social media don’t help either. Why read about ISIS on your New York Times app when you can scroll through Yik Yak?

Schultz seemed to appreciate my honesty, but her question really resonated with me. Do my friends really realize what’s at stake for us, especially now that Ohio’s top five state offices are filled by Republicans?

Do my friends realize that our governor has already made it more difficult for family planning groups to receive funding for preventive care, that is, birth control?

Do they understand that just days after Texas state senator Wendy Davis successfully filibustered a bill that would make abortions practically illegal, Kasich made it Ohio state law for any woman seeking abortion to undergo an ultrasound?

Are they aware that Kasich’s bill makes it difficult for abortion providers to obtain transfer agreements with public hospitals?

The problems facing women’s rights in Ohio are very real, and yet the women of my generation seem pretty passé on the subject overall. Why aren’t we fighting this fight?

Women have fought oppression for centuries. The women who came before us had to fight to protect their rights, and we appear to be forgetting their struggle. What would these women, some of whom were murdered in bombings, shot, harassed or injured, say to my generation? Would they even want to be associated with us?

I guess my point is this: ladies, we have got to start paying attention. Of course not every woman would agree with me on this, but I know there are many who do.

We cannot continue to live in a bubble where we think nothing bad can happen to us, because it can.

Right now there are a bunch of white dudes 20 miles away trying to figure out how they can control the most personal part of our bodies. We are under siege, and it’s not going away.

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About The Author

Ellin Youse is a senior journalism major with minors in politics and government and religion. When she's not working on the Transcript, she's interning downtown Columbus. She is an avid enjoyer of patios and guacamole.

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