Lack of Bodily Autonomy Hurts Mental and Financial Health

In Nyssa's weekly 'Need to Know' series, we recap the three most important stories related to reproductive health, sex education, and bodily autonomy.

Britney Spears’ conservatorship forces her to keep IUD

Britney Spears' conservatorship is more draconian than previously reported. In a hearing on Wednesday, Ms. Spears detailed the abuse she’s suffered under the conservatorship which has spanned 13 years. Conservatorships are typically court ordered when a person is unable to take care of themselves and/or their finances; Britney is speaking out after more than a decade to end the conservatorship and prove she’s capable of doing both. In her statement, Ms. Spears spoke about having an IUD birth control device placed and her conservators not allowing her to see a doctor to have it removed and get pregnant. Planned Parenthood Federation of American president and CEO Alexis McGill called the revelation, “reproductive coercion,” and expressed solidarity with Ms. Spears and all women unable to exercise bodily autonomy. 

Over 200 groups call for the end of the ‘global gag rule’

A coalition of 200 international civil society organizations released a statement calling for the U.S. to end the global gag rule. The global gag rule prohibits foreign organizations that receive U.S. health assistance from using those funds to provide abortion services, information, referrals or to advocate for the advancement of access, even in countries where abortion is legal. The impact of the rule is devastating to all women whose bodily autonomy is being stripped away. The law, also known as the Mexico City Policy was enacted by Ronald Reagan in 1984. In February, Biden rescinded the global gag rule, but advocates deem the action doesn’t go far enough and want him to permanently repeal it. The global gag rule has been continuously rescinded and reenacted based on administrations but never fully repealed. 

One in six families spend more than $5,000 per delivery

Michigan Medicine released a new study revealing one in six families with private insurance paid more than $5,000 for maternal and newborn hospitalizations. And depending on how the pregnancy progresses, what the medical team recommends and any potential complications that could result in a cesarean or a baby’s stay in the NICU, the cost can rise above $10,000. The researchers analyzed U.S. data from over 12 million private insurance enrollees and over 300,000 maternal deliveries. On average, delivery and newborn hospitalizations cost $3,000. The lead author Kao-Ping Chua, MD emphasized how a large hospital bill on top of basic new baby costs like diapers, care, and equipment can devastate families.