OPINION: Boone needs better women’s healthcare


Megan Koch, Opinion Writer

Everyone deserves a chance to be healthy, and that includes about 50% of the world’s population with a uterus. Sexual and reproductive ill-health accounts for one-fifth of the burden of disease worldwide. The reality is women’s health is grossly underfunded and when it comes to the U.S., the disparities scream louder in smaller and rural areas such as Boone. 

When Googling women’s health in Boone, three options show up. The first is M.S. Shook Student Health Service, which offers primary reproductive care to students such as exams, pap smears, contraceptives and treatment for gynecological problems. Colleges have limitations when it comes to their health clinics and compared to universities in more conservative areas, App State is lucky to have a women’s health program. In a post-Roe society, it is more difficult for schools to offer any reproductive counseling in a nation where states are banning abortions

It is possible to be thankful for the resources provided and acknowledge that it is not enough. With Sheri Everts’ 25,000 by 2025 delusion, there will be immense stress on the already limited resources. The fact that there are problems greater than what the school can accommodate along with high demand leaves more women relying on our community sources.

The other two options on the Google search are Harmony Women’s Health Center and a misleading Christian pregnancy center titled the Hope Center. The Hope Center provides outstanding support for women in undesirable situations choosing to carry their pregnancy to term. They do not provide or refer for abortions or emergency contraceptives and openly disapprove of the morning after pill by describing it as unnecessary and undervalues it as something that “exposes you to a large dose of hormones and costs you money.” These pregnancy centers are all around the country and put vulnerable women into a position where they believe they are getting unbiased medical advice. 

A pregnancy center is not a medical center and is not licensed. The Hope Center provides new mothers with mentorship. What it does not offer is medical care. Advertising as a women’s health center is frankly unnecessary and overshadows all the good this organization could potentially have. The misinformation this type of nonprofit prides itself on puts more stress on legitimate resources in the area prioritizing the health and well-being of its patients.

With the schools’ health services being limited and the Hope Center not providing real care, all that is left for women’s health falls upon Harmony, which is notorious in the town for being unreliable. The facility is plagued with long wait times, claims of negligence, a few  one-star reviews and more. Harmony is spread thin, and it is disheartening to listen to the stories of women let down by facilities when it does not have to be this way. 

Boone needs a women’s health center that is accessible to the uninsured and equipped to handle high traffic. This town needs to prioritize the well-being of all its residents, including the large percentage with a uterus. 

More than 800 women across the globe die from pregnancy complications each day.  Reproductive rights are tied to many human rights established in our government such as the right to be free from torture, the right to health, the right to privacy, the right to education and the prohibition of discrimination. Reproductive health is vital to the overall health of the person. The patriarchal lie that value is based on reproduction ability but also lost through sexual encounters is a hypocritical fabrication designed to oppress. Shame itself results in many people not seeking out care, prolonging and worsening curable conditions. 

Healthy women, Healthy world” is a famous organization that recognizes the caretaking role women play in society and in the home. A mother’s health is an indicator of the health of the family and community. Women have historically been disenfranchised and treated as accessories to their male counterparts. The fact that the desire to have healthy reproductive organs is sanctioned as a sin is only the tip of the iceberg of the ethical violations brainwashed into our species. Many women in history have passed away angry, exploited and helpless. It is with their anger that drives the fight for what is deserved. Girls deserve to grow up in a world that cares about them. Women deserve to be healthy.