And so do a whole lot of other women. It’s hard for one little blog to make an impact, but I’m trying to do my part by sharing my story. Birth Control is NOT exclusively used for preventing pregnancy. It is also used for addressing medical concerns. Since employers/schools/etc don’t know what prompted the need for birth control pills, it is NOT FAIR to exclude it from health insurance coverage.
I got my period when I was 12, and went on the pill when I was 14. I was not sexually active. I had never even kissed a boy. But after about the 20th excruciating month of pain and misery, I realized that something had to change. My mom took me to the doctor, and after a few months of trying other solutions, I had a prescription for birth control pills. This was NOT so I could have sex – it was to reduce my cramps, back aches, and intense mood swings (among other menstrual pains and problems).
I will admit, a part of me felt kinda cool having that pack in my purse. I felt empowered – I had become a woman, and now I was making a womanly, adult decision about my health. I felt rather sophisticated with my pager alarm set so I would take it at the same time every day. Yep, I had birth control pills AND a badass beeper, try not to be jealous.
I knew that I could have sex and only have a slight chance of getting pregnant, so I went out and slutted it up on the daily. I slept with every guy in my class! I propositioned strangers on the street. I started turning tricks to pay for my birth control pills, because the sex was just too damn good.
Except not at all. My sexual activity (or lack thereof) did not change at all. Being on the pill was something that I did for medical reasons, not sexual ones. And holy crap did it help! I felt like I lived in my own body again, instead of being trapped inside an estrogen fueled tornado of pain and sadness. I did not use the birth control pills for actual birth control in middle school or high school. I didn’t even use them for that purpose when I started college. When I got to the point where I was ready to become sexually active, though, I was prepared.
But what about those women that do go on the pill just to prevent pregnancy. Sluts, right? Wrong. Smart women that don’t want a baby right this second use contraception. The only way that you can oppose this and not be a huge hypocrite is if you have NEVER – not once, not in any way, shape, or form – had sex for fun. Or had sex to express love. If you are one of those people who has 3 kids after having sex 3 times, then sure, you can judge us without hypocrisy. If you’ve had sex more than that, but your ONLY reason was creating a new life, I’m not judging you in return.
If, however, any of the following applies to you, you have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to try to regulate this personal decision for anyone except yourself:
- If you have ever had sex without trying to make a baby. (If you’re allowed to have sex just for fun, why can’t I? Or would you prefer I did so sans protection?)
- If you are against abortions/pro-life. (A great way to avoid women having abortions are these cool new things, maybe you’ve heard of them, they’re called contraceptives!)
- If you don’t want your tax dollars providing pre-natal care, abortions, welfare, or medical services to those in need. (Unwanted, unexpected, or potentially life-threatening pregnancies necessarily involve some or all of these facets, and if you don’t approve of assisting those struggling with poverty, teen parenting, etc, you need to allow those people to NOT reproduce if they don’t want to.)
- If you have ever had oral/manual/anal sex instead of vaginal intercourse as pregnancy prevention. (Guess what you were doing there? Birth control, old school style.)
- If you have ever used a condom for reasons beyond protection from STDs. (To answer your question, yes, I think condoms should be made more affordable and integrated into our healthcare system. Prevention is a valuable tool that should be easily accessible for everyone. If it were up to me, employer-funded health insurance would have a standard amount of funds that could cover any form of contraceptive, for men and women.)
- If you’ve ever taken Viagra for sexual purposes. (If it’s alright for you to take a pill that helps you to participate in/enjoy sex more, it should be alright for me to take a pill that lets me enjoy LIFE more. Also those pesky erections can lead to pregnancy, so perhaps we should lay some mandates down for those, too?)
- If you have a penis. (Yes, it’s that simple. If the uproar was about Viagra, I would suggest that those with vaginas mind their own business.)
You’re more than welcome to your opinion, of course, and you can share it in any way you please. But that does NOT include trying to pass legislature that eliminates my access to safe, affordable contraception – for medical, sexual, or otherwise personal reasons that have nothing to do with you. Some people can only get health insurance through their employer, and discrimination in any form is not acceptable. And to those who say that pregnancy is a choice, so how ’bout you just keep your pants on – okay, you go first!
11 thoughts on “I Need Affordable Birth Control for LEGITIMATE, MEDICAL Reasons”
I stumbled across this but your doctor can write a letter to the insurance company for these kinds of things. My wife is a pharmacy tech who has to get insurance to pay for Viagra for women because it helps certain medical conditions. I simply don’t want to pay for someone’s sex life.
Thanks for your comment! Question – how and why are you having to pay for anyone’s sex life? Are you an employer or insurance provider? Because insurance providers are supposed to assist you with your health, of which reproduction is an essential element. If you are an employer, can you please provide proof of having to pay for someone’s sex life? Because my boss pays for my sex life every week, technically. They pay me rent money so I have a place to fornicate, bill money so I can have water and electricity to bathe and attract men, phone and internet money so I can find and communicate with potential sexual partners, etc. If it’s a matter of being included in your insurance plan, you do realize that employees pay out of pocket for their health insurance coverage, right? There are varying degrees of copays and contributions, of course, but I’m confused as to exactly whose sex life you are funding.
I don’t believe in God… and I don’t have a problem with birth control pills being prescribed for medical reasons… but the question in my mind is whether society should pay for birth control under the guise of health care… I think preventing unwanted pregnancies is a good thing, but that’s a different argument… When I think of health care, I think it is a responsibility of society to help the sick, diseased, dying… people with cancer, diabetes, heart disease… these are the things socially funded health care should clearly cover…
Birth control for a perfectly healthy woman, doesn’t fall in that category for me…
So for me, I’m okay with some kind of federal program that pays for prescription birth control, but don’t try and get it covered using health care as it’s excuse…
What do you think?
I guess I look at it this way – if society is responsible for helping the sick, injured, in need of care, etc, then society needs to consider the most effective ways of doing so. Which makes more sense and is less of a drain on society – including birth control pills in health insurance plans, or ignoring the need and then providing pre-natal care, pediatric care, etc? If it is in society’s best interest to reduce the amount of teen pregnancy, reduce the amount of people on welfare, reduce the amount of people that can’t afford health care, etc, then society should be focusing on the best ways to do so. As in, giving people the option to prevent pregnancy if they wish to engage in one of the most basic human activities – sex.
If we try to exclude birth control from the definition of “health care”, we open up a dangerous window that puts every other legitimate condition at risk. For me, birth control – for contraceptive purposes – is still a method of caring for my health. As in, it would not be in the best interest of my mental or physical health to have a baby right now. Sure, I could just never have sex, but how plausible is that on a national scale?
Also – and perhaps more importantly – how is society actually footing the bill for a perfectly healthy woman’s birth control? If I pay for my health insurance each month, and my health insurance provider includes birth control coverage, who exactly is having to pay for me? I think it’s easy for many people (I mean this in general, and not you specifically) to say, “why should I have to pay for someone’s sex life?” But they’re not even doing that! It’s a Republican talking point scare tactic to make Americans feel like they’re being cheated, when in actuality the average citizen is not contributing to this in any real way.
Yes, it sucks when taxes pay for things that we don’t approve of. I don’t approve of war, and I wish my tax dollars weren’t funding the military, but I don’t get to make the designation. As for churches being forced to include the coverage in their plans – Obama specifically clarified that the insurance companies will be paying, not the church. And given the tax breaks that churches get, I’m not inclined to feel much sympathy there.
I guess my main concern is this – who makes the distinction between birth control for a perfectly healthy woman, and birth control for legitimate medical reasons? Since there is no way of knowing unless you are that person’s doctor, why should anyone have the right to try to enforce blanket legislation that limits the availability? Employers don’t have the right to make a moral ruling regarding what health care services my insurance plan covers.
Do you support making everyone pay out of pocket for Viagra and vasectomies, even if there is a legitimate medical need for it? Again, not trying to be snarky, that’s an honest question. :) Seems like quite a few people are comfortable being really hypocritical and saying that women shouldn’t try to get help with sexual issues and pregnancy prevention, but men are just fine with their erectile dysfunction pills and choosing to limit their own ability to reproduce.
We were talking at lunch about all this, I guess it was the Rush Limbaugh thing that got the conversation started off… I was thinking that these “Catholic organizations”
would certainly cover BC Pills for medical reasons, and my friends thought not…
We all still don’t know the answer to that…
If they do, and I think they should, then this discourse may be for moot (no, not for moot, for the fun of the debate :) ), because women will get BC pills for cramping (or whatever) and who’s to say otherwise? ( you said this also, in your words…)
Who pays for it? Certainly we all do… typically your health care monthly premium only pays a fraction of the total plan cost… and the employer covers the rest.
The more things the plan covers, the more it costs. So the employer has to raise his prices, and whoever buys anything pays for it.
Here in New York, we’ve had a law since 2002 mandating that BC be covered by health insurance.
Viagra, for ED, well, there is a true medical issue. Definitely an issue of health care!!
But still, it’s like you need to spread the limited money available for health care around to the areas were it will do the most good. And everyone has a different opinion of where that should be.
“If we try to exclude birth control from the definition of “health care”, we open up a dangerous window that puts every other legitimate condition at risk. For me, birth control – for contraceptive purposes – is still a method of caring for my health. As in, it would not be in the best interest of my mental or physical health to have a baby right now. Sure, I could just never have sex, but how plausible is that on a national scale?” <- that is just a bad argument all around…. beer and wine is my mental health care… I pay for my beer and wine… I even pay for my gym membership… ughh… and you get free BC!!! not fair!!
Hmm fair point, but in this case birth control is preventative care, whereas beer and wine are self-diagnosed treatment methods. Which is not to say that I don’t utilize them! Excercise is preventative and there are many health insurance providers and employees that support wellness programs including healthy changes like quitting smoking, losing weight, increasing cardio, etc, because those all help to lower the potential cost of care later.
I mean, if we’re comfortable using funds to pay for detox treatments to help those addicted to alcohol/drugs/cigarettes, how is birth control excluded? Sex is a natural human instinct that we all share a propensity for. Drugs and alcohol are choices that individuals make despite knowing the risk. So it seems that Nicorette and Methadone should be excluded as well, right?
Okay, so erectile dsyfunction is a true medical condition, but preventing pregnancy isn’t? How is it alright to ensure that a man can get an erection but not ensure that a woman can avoid getting pregnant from said erection? Especially since it’s also such a problem to provide abortions, foodstamps, free medical care for the pregnant woman and baby? And this erection might be forced upon a woman without her consent, and/or it may result in a pregnancy that threatens her life.
What does it say about a man that he wants the government to pay for his erection? That he wants to be paid for sex? That makes him a slut, right? A prostitute. If he’s having so much sex that he can’t afford to pay for Viagra out of pocket, he must be a huge whore.
Rush’s ridiculous arguments don’t work well when turned against him, especially because he’s been married 4 times with no kids and caught with an illegal Viagra prescription.
If we’re going to put money for health care in the areas that we need it most, I would say that women’s reproductive health is near the top of the list, if not the number one priority.
1. Our country is already economically challenged and overpopulated.
2. Conservatives don’t want to provide access to abortions or federal assistance.
3. Conservatives don’t want to teach comprehensive sex ed, instead mandating abstinence only sex ed which has been clearly proven as ineffective.
4. Women’s health issues – just like men’s health issues – impact the whole family and workplace.
—If a woman becomes pregnant accidentially, perhaps because she can’t afford or access the pill, she will need to take maternity leave. This costs her company money. She will need to take time off for checkups, Lamaze classes, etc. This also costs her employer time and money. She may need to arrange for alternate childcare, or, if that’s not possible, stay home from work to take care of her baby. If she’s on the pill for other reasons, like me, and she can’t access it, she may need to take time off because of debilitating pain. If she becomes ill as a result of pregnancy (ex: gestational diabetes), society is going to have to help pay for that as well (under the paradigm you’ve described).
I don’t think that women’s reproductive health is more important than men’s, but I find it pretty silly that we’re focusing so much attention on the female end of it and not the male’s. Especially since Viagra actually has to be taken each time you have sex whereas birth control pills are taken daily and have literally nothing to do with how much sex you’re having. Can someone please explain to me why vasectomies aren’t controversial but the pill is?
Yes, I think birth control to all that want it is a good thing… mostly for all the same reasons that you cite… and I’m glad that it is covered under Obama’s new program, and mandated by 28 some states… But… most of those reasons are social or economic reasons, not health. Being pregnant is not an illness…
That’s all we’re disagreeing on… and I don’t think that will change…
( ie… you’re not about to say “oh, Mike, you’re right! I never looked at it like that..” and me the same, even though somehow you seem to be intelligent and logical about other topics… )
lol on the Viagra man slut comments…
Yes, I think we can agree to disagree at this point :)
I really appreciate – and respect – that you’ve framed your comments in a thoughtful, rational way that didn’t attack the author (me) personally. It’s always nice when people online can converse like humans and not devolve into angry ranting trolls!
I enjoyed the respectful volleying of the two intelligent writers. Might I add, Mr. Roberts that most OB/GYN’s will tell you, pregnancy is a “disease”. It sounds bad to say that, but women’s bodies are put through such a metamorphosis that they consider it a disease state. The health risks associated with pregnancies are nothing to scoff at. I like Corina’s points, very eloquently framed and discussed. I’m sold!
Isn’t a baby essential a parasite that is feeding off the host/pregnant woman? I mean I know a zygote/embryo/fetus/etc isn’t a parasite like a tapeworm is, but it’s still a foreign entity that is entirely reliant on its host for survival. And for many pregnant women that don’t want to be pregnant, it is an invasive and parasitic experience.
Anyway, thanks for adding your comments, and I appreciate your kind words! :)