It’s that time of year again, when we all decide to lose 20 pounds, learn a foreign language, and find our dream job. Yeah, I’m talking about New Year’s resolutions. Everywhere you look on the Internet there are lists of resolutions, from saving money to eating healthier, everyone is taking this opportunity to give good advice. We happen to give good advice all year long, but I figure why turn down an opportunity to do it again. With that said, here are some resolutions that I hope we can all follow.
1) Go get tested. I’m pretty sure every blog post written on this site has included this advice. Why? Because it’s the best advice I can give. We have more information than past generations on sexual, reproductive, and mental health in general; we can absolutely be the healthiest generation ever, but that’s going to take a choice. You have to decide to come to Planned Parenthood, or another health care professional. You have to decide to use this healthcare system we fought so hard to create. You have to decide that you deserve to live a healthy happy life. While this is the best advice I can give, it’s also self-serving. We have more work to do; there are still opponents out there who are ready to fight. We need you to be healthy, so you can stay in this fight with us.
2) Vote. This is the easiest resolution you can have, and with early voting it is easier than ever. You don’t have to wait in line, you don’t have to drive across town, you just have to do it. Just over half of Nevada votes. That means Nevada has a failing grade in voting. We can do better, and all it takes is caring. That means don’t just vote in presidential elections. It’s great to take a stand on the highest elected office in America, but I bet you didn’t know local elections affect your day-to-day life more than any national election could. The reproductive freedom issues they are having in Arizona were caused by local politicians. So support your local community, and yourself by figuring out who represents you at the city, county, and state level and what they stand for.
3) Get involved. We always need help. I know we don’t have issues like Roe v. Wade (that’s not entirely true) to spark passion, but we still have plenty of big issues. The sexual education in this state is nearly non-existent, there is still a gender equality gap, and we still have people out there trying to take away the freedoms we have right now. So donate your time, that’s the biggest help we can get. Take a stand with us, and make sure we have the tools necessary to be the healthiest and happiest generation.
4) Educate yourself. It’s great to take a stand and support something, but make sure you understand the issue. Odds are if you are wearing a bright pint shirt that says you stand with Planned Parenthood someone is going to ask you questions about your position. That can easily turn into a debate, and I’ve seen those go south quickly. You have to arm yourself with knowledge, and if you’re reading this post it’s a good chance you are locked and loaded.
5) Stay positive. It seems like reproductive health issues are cyclical. We get one sorted out, and then next year our opponents have brought it right back. It can get down right exhausting. But never think you aren’t making a difference. It is because of people like us that we have freedom in our reproductive health, and we are going to make this the healthiest generation. Don’t get discouraged, because as long as you’re willing to stand by us we are wiling to fight for you.
From everyone at Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates we hope you have a happy and safe New Year, and we look forward to working together in 2014.