You’re waiting in the Health Center, standing next to somebody you’re friends with/ had a class with/ maybe hooked up with, scanning down the ‘confidential’ sign-in sheet for a familiar face. Many of you reading this have been there before: it’s the (probable HIPPA violation) STD clinic. While STD testing is a vital part of being a ~ healthy sexual being ~, there’s a whole lot more to reproductive health care. Thus, I thought I would share some resources that you or somebody you know will inevitably have to utilize during your time here.
In exchange, I ask that you:
- Be up to date on this information even if you’re thinking “oh no, I don’t need to know this” in the spirit of being a good community member
- Talk openly and honestly about this kind of stuff and share the things you know with your peers
- Tell a friend to tell a friend that somebody you love has received reproductive health care, including abortion, and that is their right.
There’s a whole lot of information in this article about general reproductive health care, but most of this information is pretty accessible anyways. Let’s start with information that isn’t:
What do I do / where do I go / who do I talk to if I’m pregnant and want an abortion?
You’ve come to the right place! There are plenty of people around who want to give you comprehensive, compassionate and judgment-free abortion care.
Our nearest clinics are Your Choice Healthcare of Columbus or East Columbus Health Center (Planned Parenthood). In Ohio, two appointments are required to get an abortion, and they must be at least 24 hours apart. One of the appointments is a “consultation” to do a bunch of bullshit that could be done the same day as the procedure, but the Republicans won’t allow it. The next appointment is where you will either receive the pills to terminate the pregnancy (and a plan of when to take them from a doctor) or get a surgical abortion in office.
Because of this 24 hour waiting period between consultation and procedure, you will have to find a way to get to Columbus twice or stay overnight for a next day appointment. This is tricky, but there are options: call a friend, call the Health Center. Alternatively, call National Abortion Federation’s hotline (1-800-772-9100). They can talk to you about resources and hook you up with somebody who can help.
Abortions usually cost roughly $500, and that’s a lot of money for a college student. Medicaid cannot cover any funding for abortion care (neither can taxpayer money, à la the Hyde Amendment), but there are still options. If you don’t think you can pay for your abortion, Women Have Options is a statewide abortion fund that will help you. They provide financial assistance to help patients afford contraception, emergency contraception, and abortion services. They distribute funds to clinics throughout Ohio. These clinics, in turn, use the funds to provide financial assistance to those in need.
To get help funding your abortion, call one of the clinics and tell them that you don’t think you can pay for the procedure. They can help you get access to funds from Women Have Options and other private abortion funds.
Tl;dr: there are a lot of options if you are pregnant and need abortion care. There are plenty of people who want to help. Call the National Abortion Federation (1-800-772-9100) or go to the Health Center and chat with them.
But, reproductive health care is a lot more than just abortion! Here are some other quick and dirty facts:
Let’s start with an easy one– Condoms
- You don’t even have to talk to anybody to get condoms! Find your way to the Health Center (behind the post office) and there will be condoms usually to your left as you walk in.
- You can use a condom as a dental dam if you need it, but they are also stocked at Crozier.
- The Health Center will prescribe this (pro-tip: they don’t really check the email that is listed on their site). Your best bet is to call them or pop by during their hours and make an appointment.
- They can prescribe one of the options of birth control pills for $15 a month (Kroger also has a similar option for $24 for three months)
- If this is a concern, your parents will not be able to figure out about this if you pay out of pocket, even if they’re the one handling your tuition and bills.
Emergency Contraception (Plan B / The Morning After Pill)
- The Health Center will give this to you for only $10. No appointment needed.
- You can also buy this in advance and keep it in your dorm room if you ever get into a sticky situation and it’s inconvenient to get the pill.
- The Health Center isn’t open during the weekends, but if you call the non-emergency number for Campo, they’ll let you in. Usually, they keep it on the desk / an accessible place during the weekends. You can also call the regular Health Center number and they can help you out with it.
UTI / Pap Smear / Pregnancy Test / HPV vaccine / STD tests not offered at free clinic
- Yet again: hit the health center up and they can do these things!
- All of these will be until $30 and can be billed to your student account. The only exception if the HPV vaccine, which is $90.
Post-Sexual Assault / Rape care
- I am not going to go into all of the ways to get care after an assault on here, but: reach out to the Health Center or look into the Sexual Respect Peer Alliance (SRPA) at firstname.lastname@example.org.