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!