06 December 2017
Pro Birth Control
There are a lot of misconceptions about birth control, and a major reason is the lack of information on its benefits. There are many people that have biases about birth control due to negative perceptions. However, there are many positive benefits birth control provides. It can give women choices to do what they want with their bodies. A lot of the times women and young ladies become pregnant unexpectedly or not by choice. Becoming pregnant unexpectedly can change someone’s life in a major way, and they can find themselves facing tough decisions. People think women should wait until marriage to have sexual intercourse; however, this does not always happen in that order. Over the year’s different forms of contraceptives have been used to prevent pregnancy, like condoms, practicing abstinence and different birth control options, such as the pill, intrauterine devices and the Depo Provera shot. The use of birth control should be accessible with affordable prices to women for contraceptive reasons, such as reproductive freedom, ensuring financial stability, preventing abortions and unwanted pregnancies, as well as non-contraceptive reasons like treating acne, endometriosis, and regulating menstrual cycles.
Many women struggle with the fact that birth control is not as accessible as it should be. The financial burden of birth control, if not covered by their insurance, can take away the option to prevent pregnancy. Author Katha Pollitt states that “One reason more women do not use long-acting reversible contraceptives is cost: While they save the patient money over time, upfront price can be as high as $1,200” (). There are places like Planned Parenthood that provide government assistance for women to be able to afford birth control. However, there are many qualifications that a woman must fall under to receive the help, which leaves a significant amount of people without the option to protect themselves or take advantage of the health benefits. Many women cannot receive it due to it not being affordable. Even with places like Planned Parenthood that provide birth control, there are many people who are against the government funding this organization, which can eventually lead to the disappearance of places that provide free birth control. That can then have a negative effect, such as an increase in abortion, adoption, and single motherhood.
Women have different birth control options; there is not just once specific type they must take. Each one differs in a small way from the other. The three common types of birth control are the pill, intrauterine device, and the Depo Provera shot. Author Katha Pollitt defines the three different forms of birth control as “devices, which require no further action and remain effective for years, with less than 1 percent failure rate” (10). The oral pill option is prescribed to women and they must take it daily for it to be effective. Author Alexander Sanger states that “In the 1960s though men and women acted as if pregnancy were greater risk and relied on the Pill, since it provided better pregnancy protection than condoms” (30). Taking the pill gives women the option to stop taking them and get pregnant if they choose to do so. It does not permanently affect the body. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are y-shaped devices that doctors insert into the uterus. The IUD is not a permanent contraceptive device; however, the difference from the pill is that women do not have to take it daily. Doctors insert it one time and it stays there until women decide to have it removed. According to Jennie Yoost’s “Understanding Benefits and Addressing Misperceptions and Barriers to Intrauterine Device Access among Populations in the United States,” IUDs are described as “IUDs are safe and effective in women of any reproductive age. They offer superior contraceptive efficacy, plus non-contraceptive benefits that can improve quality of life in many women” (955). Lastly the third option for birth control is the Depo Provera shot. The Depo Provera shot is given every three months. The shot is also not permanent, and women have the option to stop getting it. Birth control has more than one option which allows women to choose what they are most comfortable with.
Having reproductive freedom goes hand in hand with having birth control. When people get to a certain age they must decide if they will have children or not. A woman can change her mind many times throughout her life. According to Alexander Sanger’s “Reproductive Freedom in the 21st Century,” reproductive freedom is described as “[emerging] from our biological obligations. We carry out this mandate by surviving adulthood, finding a mate, having sex, having a child, and ensuring that our child is healthy. Even if we are childless, others carry it out by adopting and raising unrelated children” (72). Birth control is not a permanent procedure which gives women the option to have children whenever they decide to. Having a child is a life changing experience, and some women choose to not have children for several reasons. There are also people who choose to wait until later in life to settle down to have children. In other words, birth control provides the option for a woman to decide when and if she wants to have children. It can give them peace of mind that they will not become pregnant until they are ready.
There are many people who struggle with being financially stable at some point in their lives. Adding a child to the equation can complicate things even more. Children need so many things to be taken care of properly, which means the parents or guardians really must prepare to take on the financial responsibilities. This often affects women not being able to keep up with the finances that they currently have and any future expenses. There are cases where a woman can become a single parent due to many reasons where it does not work out with the father. In that case it is even more difficult for the child to grow up with financial stability. Taking birth control allows women to wait and prepare to ensure financial stability; that way women can give their child what they need. For the women who do not want children for this reason, birth control ensures they will not have any.
Without access to birth control, women and young ladies can be faced with a very controversial operation that can be done to terminate a pregnancy. This is also known as an abortion, a medical procedure to terminate a fetus in its early stages. They only have a small window to make another life changing decision that they will have to live with forever. There are a variety of reasons people agree or disagree with abortion, like religious reasons or personal morals. This is another reason birth control benefits the women taking it. Often women will not take birth control and end up finding out they are with child not even wanting a child in the first place. There are many people who believe that getting an abortion is like killing a child. Few people agree with women getting abortions. While abortions are a way to terminate pregnancy, they are risky and can sometimes be harmful to the woman getting one. The harmful issues that abortion can cause are inability to conceive again, damage to the cervix, and negative effect on woman’s mental health. Abortion can be avoided if women would take birth control before it is too late.
Birth control not only offers protection for contraceptive reasons, but also provides non-contraceptive benefits. Some people see birth control as a negative and a way to have unprotected sex as much as they want with whomever. However, women do not just use birth control for only contraceptive reasons; there are medical issues that birth control can benefit. Many women and young ladies struggle with controlling acne breakouts. There are also women who need birth control to treat endometriosis. Women also use birth control to regulate menstrual cycles. These are other reasons why birth control should become more accessible and affordable for every woman. Not only will birth control protect, but also give positive health benefits.
Endometriosis is an important issue that some women experience in their life. Author Elizabeth Farrell defines endometriosis as a “chronic inflammatory, estrogen dependent disease in which endometrial tissue is found outside the uterine lining inducing an inflammatory reaction that may result in scar tissue” (37). Women use birth control to help the disease. Endometriosis can cause issues with women not being able to have children if they want to. Depending on the stage of the disease, it can sometimes be extremely painful or increase in pain over time. Therefore, women use birth control to help treat endometriosis and the pain that it comes with. Women who have endometriosis can have a more difficult time getting pregnant than others. It can take more attempts to finally have a baby than other women who are not affected by endometriosis. Even women who do not want children can find endometriosis frustrating to deal with due to the pain it comes with. This is another positive effect of birth control that is not related to contraception.
Lastly, another one of the many reasons birth control should be affordably accessible is regulating menstrual cycles. There are a lot of women who have irregular menstrual cycles which confuses them due to the fact there is not a regular date that which their cycle will start. It can have them thinking they are pregnant at any time because they will get their period randomly. Some birth control can eliminate periods completely over time or lighten them, so women will not have their periods often. Women’s bodies are all different and react differently to all sorts of things. Some women have heavier flows than others causing discomfort, so they would get on birth control to lighten the flow, so it will be easier to get through the day. Birth control helps regulate menstrual cycles as much as possible so that women can have a more comfortable experience in an uncomfortable time of the month.
In conclusion, based on the many positive benefits that come from birth control outweigh the negative perceptions. It should be more affordable to women, so they can have access to it for not only contraceptive reasons, but non-contraceptive reasons. There might be many negative opinions due to religious beliefs or even personal morals; people might think it is not safe or that it will give younger women the idea that they can have sexual intercourse whenever they want. However, individuals will make that decision no matter what. Author Jennie Yoost states that “Nearly half of the 6.7 million pregnancies reported in the U.S. each year are unintended, and this rate is even higher among 15-to-16-year-old women” (950). Having birth control will at least provide prevention of pregnancy until they are ready to have children. Birth control is also used for many other reasons. It can only benefit women but not harm them. For these reasons, is birth control should be more affordable and accessible to women everywhere.
Farrell, Elizabeth. “Endometriosis.” Australian Nursing Journal 20.5 (1 November 2012): 37-39. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Nov. 2017.
Politt, Katha. “Magic-Bullet Birth Control?” The Nation 8 June 2015: 10-11. Academic Search Complete. Web. 29 Oct. 2017.
Sanger, Alexander. Beyond Choice: Reproductive Freedom in the 21st Century. 1st ed. New York City: Public Affairs, 2004. eBook Collection. Web. 14 September 2017.
Yoost, Jennie. “Understanding Benefits and Addressing Misperceptions and Barriers to Intrauterine Device Access among Populations in the United States.” Patient Preference & Adherence (1 July 2014): 947-957. Academic Search Complete. Web. 29 Oct. 2017.
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