Why Contraception is Awesome!

Can we all gather as a country for two seconds and say, “thank God the government shutdown is over.” I want to see Starved Rock State Park in its Autumn splendor, which I can’t do if all the workers are furloughed.

I understand that people hold very intense opinions about all the issues Congress debates about. In the interest of peace, I’m going to avoid touching most of those (unless asked). Let just touch on one – the one that affects my personal life and bodily autonomy – birth control.

“Infographic: Contraception Is Highly Effective.” Guttmacher Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2014. .

Take a deep breath. I’m not going to rant about contraception. Instead, I want to list the benefits of birth control, benefits which the Republican Party wants to deny through their insistence on a ‘conscience clause.’ This would allow business owners with a moral problem with birth control to deny their workers access to contraception if they get moral hebejebes at the thought the women in their work place might want to take control of their own bodies. Have you been paying attention to the laws being passed in states lately? Clearly a woman’s body is everyone’s business. I don’t even know why I bother wearing pants anymore. Do you want to make sure my hymen is in tact, too? (fun fact: Hymen is the Greek god of the wedding feast).

Sorry. I swear that’s as ranty as this post gets. I want to talk about what those benefits are.

  • Ovarian and Endometrial Cancer Prevention: Use of birth control has been shown to reduce risk for ovarian cancer by 10 to 12 percent during the first year of use and 50 percent after 5 years of use.
  • Family Planning: Women have the power to plan out their children, resulting in greater health for mother and child.  A woman who is planning on getting pregnant can jump on prenatal care earlier. She can avoid having children too close together, which has also been linked to health issues with infants like low birth weight.
  • Contraception Saves Everybody Money: A woman obviously saves money because she doesn’t have to deal with all the expenses associated with being pregnant and having a child. In addition, correct use of birth control dramatically reduces the need for emergency contraception and termination services, which tend to cost more than contraception. Employers also save money, as denial of birth control coverage has been shown to cost employers 15 to 17 percent more. They also stand to lose some of their workforce as many women will take maternity leave – paid or otherwise. Some may not return to the workforce for years. This all cost.
  • Fewer Abortions: Did you catch that in the last point. This should be obvious, but if you are not getting pregnant, then you are not getting an abortion. How awesome is that! (p.s. please don’t tell me birth control is an abortifacient. It prevents ovulation. There is not a single zygote, fetus or baby being killed with the pill. Not even Plan-B does that. (If God can get a virgin pregnant, I’m sure Contraception won’t stop the Deity from knocking me up)
    Increase in College Educated Women: It goes without saying it is easier to go to college when you don’t have kids.
  • Increased Wages: Also goes without saying that having a college degree and time to devote to a professional career would result in a higher salary.
  • Regulation of Menstrual Periods
  • Treatment of Irregular Periods
  • Treatment of Menorrhagia
  • Treatment of Dysmenorrhea
  • Treatment of Endometriosis
  • Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • Treatment of Acne, Hirsutism  and Alopecia

All of this is why stupid laws, like this one just passed in Kansas, are ridiculous. This is not a complete list of the benefits of birth control. It does, however, show that there are many uses for contraception other than preventing pregnancy. What if the person to whom an ignorant pharmacist in Kansas denied contraception is suffering from endometriosis or is a married mother of four who wants no more children? Why should that pharmacist have the right to decide what that woman does with her body?

I don’t think something that crazy will ever get passed on a national level (fingers crossed), but I am definitely checking the status of women rights before I ever consider moving to a new state. For the record, I will never choose to live in Kansas with that law in place.

Works Cited:

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7 thoughts on “Why Contraception is Awesome!”

  1. yes, yes, yes. kudos to you for writing this. I could go on and on, but I will just say I agree with you 100%! I never understood why certain people don’t understand the whole “access to birth control means less abortions” point!

    1. I read something a while ago that really stuck with me. This person answered the questions “why are people who are anti-abortion also anti-contraceptive?”

      It’s about shame. Shame on the woman for having sex outside of marriage. Shame on the woman for using her body in a way that men deem inappropriate. Shame on a woman for having sex with a man not religiously determined as worthy through marriage. Part of your shame it to be pregnant, to give birth, and to live with your shame and ‘sin.’

      That isn’t to say all who are anti-abortion think that. The article (to which I wish I could remember the link) focused on religious roots where a woman’s body is not her own. She first belongs to a masculine god (not capitalized because I don’t think God has a defined gender and is that cruel) and second to her father. With her father’s permission, she is given to another man through marriage. Now her sexuality belongs to him. This past century saw a huge change in that, perhaps for the first time in history, woman have the ability to live, work, prosper and bare children without needing a man to do so. I wonder if that scares some people.

      Sorry for the long replay. Woman’s Rights always gets me going.

  2. I agree whole heartedly with what you written here. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous for anyone to decide they have the right to dictate what a person can and cannot do. Plus as you pointed out there are several other reasons for taking birth control beyond trying to get pregnant. I know I had a friend at one point who was put on pills to regulate her period and try to help with hormonal imbalance. Personally, I think the idiots passing these laws just do not understand what rights they are giving up.

    1. I had a friend go on birth control because they thought she had endometriosis. This girl is the most religious girl I know. Let’s just say she took it too far and the Bible too literally.

      Going on birth control was a huge ordeal. Her and her parents wanted another option. They through a fit and refused to get her a pap smear because only her future husband can see that part of her body and they were afraid the test would break her hymen (I tried to explain that could happen riding a bike when your nine, but she said “I think I’d know if my hymen broke”)

      She wasn’t on it for very long because she was so religiously against it. That’s her choice and no law should be put in place to stop it. The point is, there are people who are so religiously against birth control that they would rather endure all the above conditions.

      Now image if she was a pharmacies in Kansas. Endometriosis is obviously not a good enough reason to use birth control in her eyes. What kind of lunacy says she can impose that opinion onto her clients?

  3. Totally agree with what you’ve said. I grew up with a fairly progressive upbringing (which is not unheard of in an LDS/Mormon family), but I was amazed at the flack Cimmorene and I got about contraception and family planning in general. With all due respect to Catholics, I thought a few of my churchmates were Catholic almost in their positions and their strenuous objections. We certainly didn’t get married as early as some I know in what I call the Mormon Belt Buckle (she was 29 and I was 24), and we waited almost 4 years before we had our daughter. It was another 5 years before we had our son, and by then, Cimmy was 38.

    In short, we want to be sure we can provide for the children we have. They made their presence known even before they were conceived, so any religious nut that wants to fling us crap about our decisions can go take a flying leap. We made those decisions with about equal parts research and prayer; we informed ourselves and then sought spiritual validation.

    1. The way I see it, if God really wanted me to be pregnant, there’s nothing I can do about it. Just ask the Virgin Mary.

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