Vote Like Your Sex Life Depends On It

Unless you have been living under a rock the past two years, I imagine you are very aware that there is a very important election taking place today.  Part of me just wants it to be over because I am so sick of the political ads running constantly and the 24 hour news system reporting on who is leading in the polls (that day).  Even though the numbers show a pretty likely win for President Obama, I am still terrified something may go wrong.

What’s at stake this election is much more than bragging rights because your party is in office. The quality of your sex life for the next four years will be determined by what happens today.

I am not just talking about mine alone here, which will completely disappear if there is a Romney-Ryan win. I will curl up in the fetal position out of deep depression, not leaving my bed for four years, hoping someone will wake me up when the nightmare is over.  But that’s beside the point.  A Romney presidency will have disastrous effects on the sexual health of this nation as a whole.  It will be devastating because sexual dysfunction is rampant on every level across the US. We have some of the highest rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in the developed world as well as a rape culture that shatters lives every two minutes. It’s hard to believe that in 2012 one of the options on the ballot is a huge step backwards.

Some may argue that this is hardly a priority, as the economy is a mess and unemployment is high (although the numbers are looking much better). Reproductive health has become a centerpiece of campaigns this election season, from the local level all the way to the Presidential race.

We are also seeing the alarming results of decades filled with abstinence only education play out across the nation with candidates such as Todd Akin in Missouri claiming that women don’t get pregnant from rape and Richard Mourdock in Indiana saying that even though rape is terrible, it is what God intends. The Republican Party is making a huge case for why we need to invest heavily in sexual health education rather than slash it entirely which is what they would prefer.

Romney himself has made it clear that he will repeal the affordable care act and de-fund Planned Parenthood. The continued attack on Planned Parenthood, Title X (funding for family planning), and access to affordable healthcare from the right is one of the biggest threats to our national security.  Not only do Planned Parenthood and other community clinics threatened by these proposed policies provide life-saving screenings for breast and cervical cancer, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, but they offer education and access to contraception that the majority of the country cannot get elsewhere.  Additionally, these programs are the only methods proven time and again to decrease the number of abortions need. This is something the GOP should get behind and support wholeheartedly, rather than try to destroy.

The Romney Ryan ticket is also the biggest threat to Roe vs. Wade we have seen. This could literally make sex deadly with a return to unsafe “back alley” abortions. The possibility that a President Romney would appoint a conservative anti-choice Supreme Court justice, could make an outlaw of abortion a reality, even in extreme cases such as rape or incest.

Choosing a running made like Paul Ryan solidified Romney’s anti-sex stance this election. Having someone like Ryan who consistently votes against choice, even in legislation that would result in the death of the woman proves that a Romney presidency is not only bad for sex but is dangerous to women.

If you want to have a good sex life for the next four years, one that is healthy and that gives you the freedom to control what happens to your body, I highly encourage you to head to the polls right now.  Even though we often feel our single vote won’t make a difference, in this election it will.   You can help decide whether the US keeps moving forward or takes one giant and dangerous step backwards.  Vote like your sex life depends on it…because it does.

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About Alyssa

Alyssa is a public health professional working at a public health non-profit in Washington DC. Previously, she worked as a shift manager on the online national sexual assault hotline and was a health educator at a community clinic in San Diego County where she focused primarily on reproductive health such as family planning and STI prevention. She received her BA in International Studies-Political Science with a minor in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego. In between her formal education she circumnavigated the globe on Semester at Sea, lived in Spain, and worked on a Community Development project in rural Kenya (Kakamega represent).

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