Between Hobby Lobby’s legal battle to deny its workers birth control coverage, Ted Cruz’s often-repeated and incorrect assertions that birth control causes abortions and S.C. legislators’ proposed personhood bills that would outlaw birth control on the basis that it interferes with a woman’s ovulation and may prevent fertilization, birth control somehow has been construed as controversial.
But birth control is far from controversial.
Eighty-eight percent of Americans support access to birth control, and 99 percent of sexually active American women have used some form of birth control. Given that the average U.S. woman wants only two children, she must use contraception for roughly three decades to achieve this goal. Moreover, leading medical groups, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, support access to reliable contraception as part of basic health care.
When women can control their fertility, they can focus on completing their education and securing better work experience and higher-paying jobs. Contraception enables an empowering cycle: When women have accurate sex education and access to affordable birth control, they’re more likely to achieve their goals, the children they plan have a higher chance of finishing college and landing higher-paying jobs, and they have healthier families.
Given the benefits and the majority of people who support birth control, it’s time we turn up the volume and share how birth control has impacted our lives.
This week, Bedsider, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and women across the country are participating in a national social media campaign, “Thanks, Birth Control!” to, in their words, “turn up the volume and turn down the controversy.” Supporters will be sharing stories of how birth control has improved their lives and allowed them to decide whether, when and how they want to start a family. Look for these stories on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching the hash tag #thxbirthcontrol.
I’m asking my fellow South Carolinians — both women and men — to join in sharing their stories of what birth control has made possible for them and others.
One day or one week hardly seems like enough time to celebrate all birth control makes possible for women, but it’s a start.
Social media manager, Tell Them