Men Should Not Control Our Uteruses
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Men Should Not Control Our Uteruses

If congress bans abortions, will men be required to have vasectomies?

As we all know, Donald Trump is our President-elect. No matter how you feel about it, there's an issue that seriously needs to be talked about, especially in regards to women and their reproductive rights.

Let me just say first, men should not be able to control what women do with their bodies.

Trump plans on repealing Obamacare. I get it, Obamacare does have some crappy aspects (I get that paying over $1,000 for healthcare per year, and for some per month, out of pocket isn't ideal). However, Obamacare has made it possible for many women, even young women under 18, to access birth control at an extremely affordable rate.

A lot of women (including myself), cannot afford to pay $50 a month for birth control (yes, it really can get that expensive), and because of this, we should not be forced into having children before we're ready.

The arguments of "oh, just use a condom," or "just close your legs and be abstinent" are not valid anymore. Condoms fail, even if used correctly. Abstinence works unless someone is violated without consent. Nothing is fool-proof, birth control isn't even 100 percent effective, however it is still the best alternative (when used correctly).

Now, it won't be within the first day Trump is officially in office for this to happen. But it has women freaking out everywhere. Women all over social media even report that they're rushing to get a form of birth control that lasts longer than Trump will be in office, like an IUD.

However, this isn't the only thing that the men of congress want to take away from people who actually have the uteruses in question.


Trump also mentioned he wants to defund Planned Parenthood and overturn Roe v. Wade. While initially in his campaign he wanted to ban abortions completely, he has since retracted his statement and said he'll leave it up to the state to decide the laws and punishments on abortions.

For all you "pro-lifers" out there, I definitely feel you. Most of you voted for Trump because Hillary was totally for late-term abortions, meaning that she wanted abortions to be legal in all 50 states during or after the second trimester.

However, Hillary actually doesn't necessarily support late-term abortions, she only feels that women should have the option if they could justify why. And the "why" really comes to the mother and the baby's health.

Donald Trump made a comment during a debate about how "babies are ripped from the womb during the 9th month," which actually doesn't happen. If a doctor determines a baby is able to live outside of the womb, usually after 24-26 weeks, then the baby will be birthed no problem.

If the mother decides she doesn't see herself fit, she goes through the adoption process right there.

However, 90 percent of abortions take place before 12 weeks, 1.5 percent happen after 20 weeks, and the majority are before 24 weeks. A lot of late-term abortions happen because the mother's health is in danger, or the baby will be born with an abnormality that could leave it in pain for as long as it will survive.

Roe v. Wade even states that abortions should be legal under these circumstances, yet many states make it extremely difficult for a woman to have an abortion even if her health is in danger.

A study shows that women often waited until their second trimester for abortions because they were unsure they were pregnant or could not afford the cost of one, or had to drive three hours or more to their nearest clinic to receive one.

Forty-one states have abortion restrictions currently, and they're changing every so often. Many states have a law stating that women are not allowed to have an abortion after six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

Many women, even those who are ready to be mothers or get pregnant and are able to care for a baby, don't even know they're pregnant until six weeks or later.

Babies are huge responsibilities, and many young women get pregnant during their time away in college. Some get abortions, some don't, but why do people without uteruses get to say what we get to do?

Finding out you're pregnant is a scary thing for someone who isn't ready, and why should the government force women to be ready when they really aren't?

Really though, it comes down to this: if the government wants to make birth control harder to come by, and ban abortions, the least they could do is expand our schools' sex education.

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Five Ways to Remember to Take Your Pill

Because babies aren't fun in college.

I can remember the lyrics to every single middle school jam without fail, yet I still struggle to remember the important things in life, like taking the pill regularly. I've forgotten to take my birth control way too often, even when I was extremely sexually active in a relationship. One, if you forget to take your pill enough times, you could get your period. So, it's possible that if you are lazy af about taking the pill, you can have TWO PERIODS A MONTH. Two periods means double the cramps, double the nausea, and double every other oh-so-lovely part of getting your period. Yeah, no thanks.

And two, BABIES. Don't even get me started on pregnancy scares. I've had more than my fair share of them, and it's just not worth it.

So here are five ways to remember to take your pill.

Schedule a daily reminder on your phone calendar. This is a no-brainer for some people, because the majority of us have our phones glued to us throughout the day. This might not work for some, like myself, who treats the reminder button similarly to their morning alarm's snooze button. My number one frenemy.

Email yourself. Subject line: TAKE PILL!!! NO BABIES!! I'm slightly embarrassed that I use email to keep track of far too many tasks that I have to do. Whatever, it works.

Carry in your backpack. Or satchel/purse/tote/whatever that thing is that you lug around everywhere. This way, it's literally always with you. I keep mine in the front mesh pouch so I have a visual reminder to take it at 12:10 p.m. during lunch or class everyday. Speaking of, taking birth control in public really shouldn't be taboo. You might receive a few funny faces when you whip it out in the middle of lecture, but honestly people should be commending you for taking control of your reproductive health.

Note: It also shouldn't be assumed that everyone who takes the pill is sleeping around, because there are a number of uses for birth control. I've used it at three different points in my life for Accutane, amenorrhea, and yes, now sex.

Keep with your toothbrush. This, of course, is assuming you value your hygiene, which for the sake of everyone around you, I really hope you do. You've already nailed that one down into your daily routine, why not also add the pill?

Keep next to your bed. I used to keep my pill pack next to my bed so that I took it every night before I fell asleep. This way my boyfriend also held me accountable before we did the deed *worry free.*

Here are some other fun facts about your bff bc. If used perfectly, the pill is 99 percent effective, but with "typical use", only 91 percent effective. Each additional missed pill reduces the effectiveness rate. Miss two days in a row and you'll need to use another form of birth control for the next week.

So as a handy reminder, "miss one, make it up. Miss two, back it up." By back it up, we're talking alternative contraception options. I'm lucky that my college provides free Plan B, but I know that's not the case for every campus. There are also other forms of contraceptives out on the market, so figure out what works best for you, and use it. College is stressful enough without having the prospect of a baby on your mind.

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How The 2016 Election Ruined My Freshman Year

When can we stop fighting?

Freshman year of college is a time to move out of the house, make new friends and share your views in an educated setting. My first semester of college in fall of 2016 was anything but.

I was able to move out of the house and make a few good friends. However, I found that within the college setting sharing opinions and views was not peaceful at all. It was more of yelling and provoking others from opposite political parties.

I figured there was nothing to be done; the 2016 presidential election was completely insane in every way. Scandals on both major sides resulted in mobs of people both defending and insulting each candidate.

I assumed once the election was over, people would eventually calm down. Obviously, I assumed wrong.

After Donald Trump won the Electoral College, but not the popular vote, protests broke out all over campus. It was hard to make any new friends, because it seemed as if instead of asking, "How are you?" people asked, "Who did you vote for?". No matter what you answered, people would be against you.

Many were terrified and upset while others were overjoyed. Protesters protested in the library mall of campus while others criticized them. Hillary supporters would yell at Trump supporters and vice versa.

Protests are a great way to express your opinion, but the tension was so high it made it hard to focus on what I was at college to do: study and learn. It was easy to ignore at first, but it became a distraction having to weave past protesters on my way to class.

Eventually, the crowds cleared but hostility remained. I was beyond frustrated. Acquaintances denounced potential friendships depending on who I voted for or who I didn't vote for.

I heard "I don't respect anyone who voted for ____" from both conservatives and liberals. I did not want to place myself in a category. Everyone was angry at everyone, and there was nothing to be done about it. It finally calmed down for a while but flared up again after Trump's Inauguration.

I honestly was excited for college to share ideas and learn about others' viewpoints, but now I can see that as long as Trump remains president, both sides will continue criticizing each other. If Trump serves all four years, I will be graduating college when he ends his term in office.

My college life started off rocky, and it seems I will not be able to share ideas and differing viewpoints with anyone during this experience in my life without people getting into a screaming match.

College is supposed to be a place where you can make new friends and learn new ideas while being respectful, but this election put a serious block on that in my opinion.

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Bernie Supporters React to Hillary Endorsement

What does this mean for Bernie fans?

Despite previously stating he would campaign through to the Democratic convention, Bernie Sanders finally threw in the towel yesterday and publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee.

In his thirty minute speech, Sanders pledged, "I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States."

As to be expected, given this raucous campaign year, Sanders' decision to back Clinton has been met with widespread, mixed responses.

For many, Bernie's eventual support for Hillary was to be expected. She was leading in delegates and has numerous credentials and experience to her name as former Secretary of State.

One sophomore I interviewed said she began supporting Hillary over Bernie after he lost the state of Ohio in the primaries. "It became clear to me that his chances of winning a general election weren't high enough, especially with an opponent as scary as Trump."


The push to defeat Trump was clearly at the forefront of Sanders' decision to join forces with Clinton. He repeatedly mentioned the need to join together as a party and celebrate the diversity of our country, values he feels Clinton would uphold.

"In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up. While Donald Trump is busy insulting Mexicans, Muslims, women, African Americans and veterans, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths."

However, this choice to form a coalition has left numerous Sanders' supporters feeling betrayed as they took to the Senator's Facebook Campaign Page to voice their concerns and distrust with the Hillary as the nominee.

The decision could potentially backfire on the Democratic party, as many have stated they would prefer to write in Sanders as their nominee rather than vote Trump or Hillary.

"I'm Bernie or Bust... I think people need to vote for something rather than against something," said Marie Clark, a New Hampshire Sanders' supporter.


The amount of time and dedication - both physical and emotional - that individuals had put into backing Sanders was clearly evident. As lamented by Jessica Watrous Boyer of Rhode Island, "You chose her over us.... Truly shocked and saddened by this."

The refusal to vote for Hillary among Democrats isn't universal. As stated by a senior at Oberlin, "I knew this was coming, but I'm still disappointed. I'll definitely vote for Hillary this fall, but I wish that I both trusted and connected with her as I did Sanders. I think doing more research will help."

Current events also play into the decision to research. As stated by another sophomore, "after some of the incidents this year related to gun violence, it became really important to me that my president took a stance for gun control."

As the saying goes, when one door closes another one opens. Now that it's been narrowed down to Trump and Clinton, it's the perfect time to learn more about their agendas and hold them accountable to the current pressing issues that matter most to us going into this election.


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Who Are You Voting For?

Crooked Hillary or PR nightmare Donald Trump?

This coming November will undoubtedly be groundbreaking for the United States, and for me, too. After years of following politics from the sideline, I will finally be able to take part more actively this November, as I cast my vote for the 2016 presidential election.

Of course, with that comes the nagging question, "who are you voting for" from literally everyone: family, friends, coworkers and randos passing by on a casual Sunday morning coffee run. But, to be honest, I still have no idea. I am literally stumped. But, here's what I know so far:

To the right, is heavy-weight, nickname-aficionado, Donald Trump

Some of my friends think he has some good ideas, and I see where they're coming from. Here are the aspects of Trump's campaign positions they were referring to: fewer undocumented immigrants, more gun security, more jobs for Americans and reformed healthcare. Those ideas sound great, and even a little bit promising.

But, for me, the hold up isn't his campaign positions necessarily. My problem with Trump is the man himself that Americans have come to know. To me, he appears selfish. I mean, he's a man who accepted congratulations following the tragic Orlando shooting for being "right on radical Islamic terrorism."

He has also said that a pregnant woman is an "inconvenience" in the workplace. The man who called for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the US. The man whose blatant racism is rampant. Who remembers the infamous Cinco de Mayo taco bowl tweet? I shuddered - I gagged - when I saw that one. It couldn't have been for real. But, it was.

I feel as though I could go on and on. People tell me things like, "Well alright, what if he didn't say those things? Would you vote for him then?" The fact of the matter is that he DID say those things, and that he WILL continue to say those things. People who think that presidency will "change" Trump are sadly mistaken, in my humble opinion.

So, naturally, I look to the left, where Hillary, Sander's new BFF sits.

Hillary Clinton is definitely not similar to Trump, which actually seems to be a valid argument for some people. The highly ambivalent #GirlIGuessImWithHer trend on Twitter took off, as celebrities continued to stand with her. But, is that necessarily a good thing? Let's look at some aspects of her platform.

When it comes to foreign policy, Clinton opposes sending US troops to Syria and Iraq to combat ISIS, which, to me, is a pro. I, however, can't ignore that she voted in favor of the Iraq War while senator, which many would argue fueled the rise of ISIS.

She wants to keep Obamacare in place, which seems practical, until you look at the 33 million who still don't have health insurance. She's got a cool idea about allowing college kids to attend school without having to take out loans. Hell yeah, but it's wildly unpopular with the GOP and will therefore probably not pass.

Oh, and you may or may not have heard about the FBI investigation of Hillary's email server, which she has been cleared of. Interesting.

So, now what? On the one hand, I have a sexist, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic racist who maybe has some good ideas until you look at the fact that, OH YEAH, he's a sexist, xenophobic, misogyn... I don't need to repeat myself. You get the idea.

But on the other hand, I have a Democrat whose ideas seem well and good, for the most part, until you realize she has this nasty tendency to lie, as well as engage in shady behavior worthy of a full-scale FBI investigation.

What am I supposed to do? From my perspective, there are positives to both candidates, but those positives don't cancel out the negatives. Do I ignore the grotesque comments and find the positives in Trump's policies? Or do I ignore the FBI investigation and go for Hillary, her platform, and the fact that she's very simply not Trump?

Do I vote for the racist or for the criminal? I hate to boil it down to such simple terms, because there is certainly more to both candidates than what these labels suggest. I'll say it again, as I'm sure I'll say it several more times: I don't know what I'm going to do in November. And I'd better figure it out soon.

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Trump and Clinton Remind Us Why We're Over This Election

Karl Becker 4 Prez.

After the release of the explicit and disturbing #Trumptapes and an additional 2,000 emails linked to Hillary Clinton's scandalous "mistake", we all knew that this debate had the potential to be a dirty slugfest. That tone was immediately made very clear as both candidates avoided shaking hands before the start of the debate. Not a good look.

Moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz used questions written by the undecided voters in the town hall audience and at home to guide "the people's debate". One would hope that given the close proximity and interaction with the voters these candidates are trying to pull, there would've been more civility. NOPE, no such luck.

Instead of giving a full run down of the debate, I decided to do something a little less painful: focus on these two incidents specifically and how they were discussed last night by the candidates. The opening question asked by Patrice Brock in the audience dove right into the mess.

"The last debate could have been rated as MA, mature audiences, per TV parental guidelines. Knowing that educators assign viewing the presidential debates as students' homework, do you feel you're modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today's youth?"

She's right. Think about all the extremely vulgar language and the lack of model behavior these candidates have shown. As college students we may be used to hearing and seeing this in our unfiltered daily life, but it doesn't make it right or anything we should be aspiring for in our leadership.

Despite being a great question, both candidates' answers were pretty lackluster and clearly avoided any mentions of Brock's references, focusing instead on their campaign slogans of "stronger together" and "make America great again."

I know avoidance is the go-to tactic of politicians, but when the media blasts concerning new stories about the candidates every single day, you just can't ignore the elephant in the room.

Anderson Cooper had no qualms in trying to make Trump answer specifically about the tapes, stating: "The question from Patrice was about are you both modeling positive and appropriate behavior for today's youth.... You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?"

Trump's excuse for his lewd commentary?

"Just locker room talk" and that "it's just words folks," which to him means harmless. He then discussed Bill Clinton's scandals as "far worse" so as to avoid responsibility, minimize his statements, and take a dig at Hillary. In reality, Trump is a prime example of the rape culture we have created and accepted in society.

On the Democratic side, when asked specifically how she can reason that her email "mistake" was not "extremely careless," Hillary restated her apology and that she takes responsibility for her actions, but quickly shifted to discussing the lack of any evidence proving the "misleading accusations from critics".

It's important that she does continually apologize and take responsibility, but when she defers to telling people to "check the facts", it's hard to know what to believe and even what to check when there are thousands of emails missing.

Trump made this loud and clear and emphasized that if he takes office, he will have a special prosecutor on her case.

Are you thoroughly exhausted from this election? Because I sure am. The only bright spot came at the very end when audience member Karl Becker single-handedly won last night's debate by asking both candidates to name one positive thing about the other. Honestly our hero.