I started taking birth control at a very young age. I used to come home from school crying and I would lay on my living room floor in agonizing pain. My back would lock up, I would get such bad nausea I couldn’t eat, and cramps made me double over walking down the hallways. Birth control eased the pain. I could finally sit through classes comfortably and didn’t have to spend one week every month curled up in unbearable discomfort.
A few years later, birth control let me start to safely explore sex with people I cared about. It taught me responsibility in the sense that I had to take the pill at the same time every day, and that I was able to make decisions about my body and my future. At an age I deemed too young to be a mother, but old enough to understand the pleasures of sex, the pill allowed me to safely and responsibly explore my sexuality.
This is not to say taking birth control comes without side effects. I’ve switched strains of the pill because of depression or weight gain. Close friends have been affected by side effects ranging from blood clots to acne. But the overarching term “birth control” isn’t just limited to the pill – women can choose which form of birth control best suits their body, whether it be an IUD, the patch, etc. We have the responsibility to make a commitment to our bodies and our health.
See a theme here?
The fact that this article cites the pill as a deterrent of “pro-creation” is wildly archaic, and its oversight in referencing other forms of birth control makes it an uneducated opinion.
But there’s also the fact that this author seems to believe birth control has caused an increase in casual sex, which, “has led to endemic levels of fatherless households as well as sexual abuse.”
NEWSFLASH – if taken properly, birth control does the exact opposite of creating fatherless households. It lets women responsibly choose to have sex without getting pregnant – a personal decision women have the right to make. And secondly, people that have casual sex that don’t use birth control have the same risk of being sexually assaulted as those that do. Birth control doesn’t lead to promiscuity and place a target on the backs of women for men to do as they please. Making even the slightest connection to sexual assault and birth control disregards facts and statistics entirely.
Additionally, this writer believes that casual sex “[reduces] people to mere means of achieving sexual gratification rather than individuals with intrinsic dignity and worth.” I’m not sure if you’re aware, but you can have sex and still maintain self-worth, and I’m sorry if nobody’s ever told you this before, so let me be the first. This “harmful carcinogen” changes the lives of so many people, and actually gives women the confidence to explore sex, or simply get up every day knowing they won’t be surprised by getting their periods in the middle of a presentation at work.
If you’ve never had to leave school or a party or work to go home and change from unexpectedly getting your period, I wouldn’t expect you to understand.
If you’ve never had to make the decision about whether you want to risk spending nine months of your young adult life carrying a child, I wouldn’t expect you to understand.
If you haven’t had a personal experience with assault or know someone that has, on birth control or not, then I wouldn’t expect you to understand.
If you haven’t had men and women try to take away your right of access to free birth control, abortion clinics, or any other form of health care necessary to take care of our bodies, I wouldn’t expect you to understand.
But then, I wouldn’t expect you to make ANY decision about MY BODY and my birth control for me.
This article is written in response to an article by a student at St. Bonaventure University, originally published by The Bona Venture.