Guest Column: Reproductive Rights In Danger On Court

View more of the Sun's opinion section

View more of the Sun's opinion section

Editor’s note: Today, the Sun continues its occasional series of guest columns focusing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court.

From the onset of puberty and into high school, I found myself with an extremely abnormal menstrual cycle. None of my friends could relate and it always seemed to hinder my activity, so much so that it was beyond me how any of them could even play sports while they were on their periods.

I finally asked my mom to take me to a doctor to have an exam. She was a single mother with no insurance at the time. She made an appointment with our family doctor, who examined me and informed my mother and I that there was nothing to worry about. My intuition told me otherwise.

A few months later, I decided to get a second opinion, so I made an appointment with Planned Parenthood. I was seen by a nurse practitioner who asked to do a second exam. I was lying on her table for only a few seconds when she looked up and said, “Honey, you have two uteruses!” She assured me that it was nothing to be worried about but wanted to confirm her diagnosis with a specialist. The results were exactly what she thought. It all made sense, I was essentially having two periods each month.

Had I not gone to Planned Parenthood, which took the time to compassionately see what was going on, I don’t know how long it would have taken for me to find out why I was having such abnormal periods. I may have spent my entire life in discomfort and not being active. I know that so many women and men don’t find out what is actually going on with their bodies and sexual health until they are able to go to Planned Parenthood and receive non-judgmental care.

If Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court, I fear that we will be one step closer to losing wellness checks, affordable birth control, affordable screenings for sexually transmitted diseases, access to safe and legal abortion, and all reproductive health services for low-income and uninsured citizens in Nevada. Planned Parenthood serves so many vulnerable people in this state who won’t have access elsewhere if Congress confirms a judge with a history like Kavanaugh’s.

Kavanaugh already ruled to limit access to safe, legal abortion. Last year, he attempted to block a young undocumented woman in U.S. custody from undergoing one, even after she had already met all of a Texas state court’s requirements. He authored the dissenting opinion in the D.C. Circuit’s 2015 ruling on the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, writing that he believed employers had the right to deny their employees health insurance coverage for birth control. And he praised a dissent in Roe v. Wade, calling the constitutional right to abortion a “freewheeling” reading of the constitution.

Please urge Sens. Dean Heller and Catherine Cortez Masto to reject Kavanaugh’s confirmation and to stand with the women and families of Nevada who desperately need access to reproductive health care and Planned Parenthood for their well-being when there is nowhere else to go.

Gina Tarantino was born and raised in Nevada. She is pursuing a degree in neuroscience and is an activist for Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates.

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