By Peyton Mann, age 17
Birth control has always been a hotly debated subject. Some argue that birth control is not healthcare and is merely a choice a woman makes. Every day, birth control is made more inaccessible and more expensive. Recently, President Trump has enacted new moral clauses that allow employers to not cover their female employees’ birth control based on their religious or moral views. 99% of American women (of childbearing age) report using some form of birth control or contraceptive, which means that birth control is a necessity and NOT a choice.
Birth control is essential for many women. One woman would still need blood transfusions, due to her heavy periods, if she had not taken birth control. Another woman would still have debilitating pelvic pain from her endometriosis if she had not received birth control. Some see birth control simply as a contraceptive, but it is more than that. Watch this video for a small lesson on birth control.
Birth control should be something all women have access to. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act promised women comprehensive preventive care at no out-of-pocket cost if they were covered by employer-sponsored health insurance plans. That care included eighteen methods of contraception. Today, this plan no longer exists for many American women. So I call on everyone to stand up and fight back until birth control is made accessible for all. We will not go back in time to when women were told to drink lead or jump backward after sex to prevent pregnancy.
My proposed solution is two parts. The first part is new national legislature. This bill would get rid of any and all moral clauses. There will also be no out-of-pocket costs because a woman’s birth control will be included in her employer-sponsored health insurance plans. The second part is to change the social stigma around birth control. Birth control needs to be treated as basic healthcare. New laws will not change people’s minds; we have to do that.
Here are some ways everyone can help:
- Share this post and any other to bring awareness about the inaccessibility of birth control
- Donate (time and/or money) to Planned Parenthood and any other organizations that support women and women’s healthcare
- Be a Planned Parenthood defender
- Send a message to the Trump administration
- Call your local, state, and national representatives urging them to only vote yes on bills that support a women’s right to basic healthcare
- Post on social media about this issue
There are many other ways to help bring awareness. The most important thing to remember is that anyone can help. No matter their gender, age, class, or color. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. We need as many people on board to help.
Remember: birth control is basic healthcare! (and should not be something lawmakers or bosses decide on.)