Free to be banging baby-free

#nothanks

Hi, I’m Jackie. I take birth control. I don’t take it because it helped save my life or because it cured some medical mystery happening inside my body. I take it because I like to have sex without repercussions that come in the shape of an infant.

If you’re sporting a uterus, chances are you’ve noticed all of this political commotion surrounding women’s rights and the usage of birth control. Thankfully, there have been some badass women who stepped forward to tell their stories about how birth control has solved their health issues and even saved their lives. These stories give validity to this drug and also a scientific “go fuck yourself” to all of the men that are trying take this right away from us. Perhaps if these men see what a useful medication the pill can be, they stop labeling all modern women as harlots who are just looking for a good time. With that being said, what about that harlot who is looking to have a good time? Is she any less important to this equation of birth control validation? Continue reading

Pill Thrilled: How birth control gave me my life back

I wonder if any of the men summoned forth to testify on Darrell Issa’s congressional oversight committee on women’s health have ever collapsed in front of an ATM. While I’m not nearly as much an expert on these men’s lives as they are on me and my feminine health, I’m going to safely venture as to guess the answer to my query is a resounding “no.” Continue reading

Birth control: it’s more than family planning for me. It’s life planning too.

My attempts to keep track of my life are chronicled in these pages.

I. Plan. Everything. I’m almost as Type A as you can get. I pack my lunch the night before. I’m allergic to procrastinating. I’m the only person I knew in college who didn’t pull all-nighters. I’m never without my day planner and the calendar on my iPhone beeps at me incessantly.

Like many ambitious young women, I’m juggling a lot: career aspirations, relationships, stress. You know the phrase, “Life is what happens when you were busy making other plans?” Yeah. I plan as much as possible so that I can handle whatever unexpected hurdles life throws my way.

So it’s no surprise that I use birth control, right? Continue reading

Me Versus The Pill

Getting a really bad period can feel almost worse than this crazy fool yelling at you.

“I’m not going to pay for your birth control just so you can have sex.”

My dad said that to me when I was 22 years old and on birth control for the first time. I still remember the setting in perfect detail. He yelled it at me while on a family vacation with my mom, brother, aunt, uncle and cousins. And yes, they were all standing by.

Continue reading

Why the Mississippi “personhood amendment” failed

Mississippi voters decided yesterday by a 55 percent majority not to outlaw abortion and some kinds of birth control methods. Photo by The New York Times.

Yesterday Mississippi citizens voted against a so-called “personhood” amendment that would have outlawed abortion and would have prohibited some types of birth control, too.

Continue reading

What free birth control means (and doesn’t mean)

Duuuuuuude! Birth control will soon be FREE!

How did this happen? The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services has some sort of magical power to make sweeping regulatory decisions. Its latest decision mandates that private insurance plans cover women’s preventative services with no co-pays, starting on Jan. 1, 2013.

It’s not just birth control that’s covered under those preventative services; there are other “well-woman” services required for free too. But the free-BC mandate is what’s making a big splash, especially because emergency contraception (the morning-after pill) is also included.

This, of course, freaked a lot of conservative folks way the eff out, who began making all sorts of life-is-precious and women-are-whores kind of arguments. There is a religious exemption to the regulation, so religious employers won’t have to allow their insurance plans to follow it. But the fact that women will get free BC is still ruffling lots of feathers in a whole conservative kerfuffle (women wanting to be responsible parents: how upsetting!).

Here are the facts, friends:

While I applaud the HHS for their mandate,  I still have a few concerns. What about the folks who don’t have health insurance?  More than 50 million were uninsured last year. That’s one in six U.S. residents who won’t be helped by the change. And what about teen pregnancy, which increased for the first time since 1990, according to an estimate last year?

Yes, free birth control will help decrease the amount of unwanted pregnancies. But those who can’t afford insurance certainly can’t afford more children and thus must have access to birth control. Teens also need access to contraception and sex education.

We should be pleased that the HHS has stepped in to cover such important preventative care. But there are plenty of people who won’t be affected by this change, which means unintended pregnancy will still be a huge problem.

–By Tara Cavanaugh