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Laura Kaplan

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Taken from the July/August 2016 issue of The Women’s Health Activist Newsletter. For months I’ve been training as a Medicare counselor with my State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Too often, when I’m answering questions about Medicare, an iron gate seems to drop over people’s eyes. So, I thought I’d give you a simple explanation…

Whenever I hear a pro-choice politician say, “No one is pro-abortion,” I want to shout, “Excuse me but I’m pro-abortion, and I am not alone.”  I’m pro-abortion in the same way I’m pro-organ transplant or any other medical procedure: when you need one, you should be able to get one. 

There’s an old saw that says: The right cares only about individuals and not about people in the aggregate, while the left cares only about people in the aggregate and not about individuals.

One of the few things I looked forward to when I approached 65 was becoming Medicare eligible. Before becoming eligible for Medicare, I found a high deductible plan that I could afford as a self-employed person. Since I’m a really healthy person, it worked fine until I broke my ankle and needed surgery and a hospitalization.

For my 67th birthday this year, my dear friend Peaches — with whom I shared those heady years in Jane, the underground, feminist abortion service — sent me a card. On the front was a picture of an elderly woman (much older than me) carrying a placard that said, “I Cannot Believe I Still Have To Protest This Shit.” Amen, sister, I thought as I read it and laughed.

For people over age 60, insomnia is the most common medical problem and can lead to poor quality of life, accidents, falls, and illness. Sleep problems are reported more commonly in women than in men.

About the Author

Laura Kaplan

Laura Kaplan authored The Story of Jane, and is an activist for women’s health, reproductive justice, and domestic violence. She served on the NWHN’s Board of Directors for 8 years and co-founded Woodstock Immigrant Support. Now retired, Laura continues her activism through volunteering.