Pregnancy

The Politics Of Birth Control: Why My Uterus Is None Of Your Business

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As a young woman who has never known a time when birth control wasn’t readily available, I have to admit that this political battle over contraception is one I feel woefully unprepared for. I don’t think my generation realizes just how serious this fight is. A woman’s ability to protect herself against unwanted pregnancy is just as important as our ability to take care of the family we’ve already had.

In the past month, I’ve gone through a traumatic and difficult ectopic pregnancy. I’ve lost a Fallopian tube and undergone surgery, as well as extreme emotional agony over losing a child that my husband and I have been so badly hoping for. It was a horrible experience. At the end of it, my doctor warned me that I would need to be on birth control or using condoms for the next three months. After surgery, it’s dangerous to get pregnant too quickly and I could find myself in another difficult and heart-wrenching position if I got didn’t use protection for the time being. Or abstain from sex, but my husband vetoed that option. Why am I sharing this personal story? Because I’m a mother. I’m a woman who is desperately trying to have kids. I’m married and in a stable, loving relationship. And once again, just like my freshman year of college, I find myself thankful that I have the ability to take control of my own reproductive health and get birth control.

Birth control is not just about women who want to have promiscuous sex (not that’s there’s anything at all with promiscuous sex!), just like Personhood Amendments are not just about abortion (not that I would support anti-abortion legislation, either). As moms, shouldn’t we be even more supportive of easy and safe family planning? We know just how important it is to help people make the correct decision for them. As women, shouldn’t we stand up and pay attention when politicians start talking about our right to control our reproductive health? This battle seems far-fetched because it’s almost incredible that anyone would denounce such a widely used and accepted medicine. But a candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination has done so. States across the country have endangered birth control by allowing far-reaching and intensely vague amendments to go up for a vote. And people everywhere should be speaking up to protect our ability to choose when we’re ready to have kids.

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