Kansas has some new reproductive rights and justice she-ros and heros. They are the women and men of Miami County. Rewire recently published the story of Miami County’s loss of Title X funding at the hands of an all-male county commission and there has since been an interesting development to that story.
Concerned citizens of Miami County banded together to find a solution for the lack of access to low-cost contraception for low-income women in their community. They decided to raise the money themselves through the collection of individual contributions. These women raised $9,000 and presented one oversized check to the Miami County Commission. One Miami County woman provided the following statement to Rewire regarding their effort…
The money was given with contingencies, and after meeting in closed session with their attorney, the commissioners decided to accept the money, how could they not? They were not happy about it though. The fight is not over until every women in our county has access to affordable health care, including contraceptives!
When presenting the check to the commission the following statement was read,
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From the anger and the concern has spontaneously risen a grassroots determination not to abandon those women in desperate need of contraception and wellness exams that are part of their distribution. Donations have poured in to try to make up the lost grant money for the next fiscal year. In the matter of just a few days the $9,000 has been risen thanks to over 100 generous private citizens who care deeply about women’s health. To be absolutely clear this is an emergency gesture, it is not a way to remove your responsibility as commissioners to reverse your position on your decision for contraception for the health department in the future. Miami County women deserve the same public health options and support found in the rest of the counties in Kansas.
Title X money has been accepted by this commission for the past 30 years. This backward stride on women’s rights and health care access reversing decades of slow progress is yet another battle in the continuing War on Women, showing its effects as it plays out in one small rural Kansas community. Through grassroots action and determination, the women of Miami County will continue to have contraception access… albeit quite tenuously.