Hands off my Birth Control

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Hands off my Birth Control

Photo illustration by Mintzhet Tan

Photo illustration by Mintzhet Tan

Photo illustration by Mintzhet Tan

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Birth control just became more expensive with President Trump’s rollback of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) mandate that employers cover the copay for their employee’s birth control. Now, any company or nonprofit can claim moral objections and not have to pay for employees birth control. Although, the Trump administration estimates that only a small number of employers will take advantage of this new policy, it begs the question if birth control is now on a slippery slope.

The Huffington Post estimates that “up to 62 million women could lose contraceptive health care coverage”. This is a big deal. Women take birth control for many reasons: to reduce acne, to have sex without worrying about getting pregnant, to plan families, to control heavy menstruation and irregular periods which is known as amenorrhea, to reduce migraines, to save money on the cost of tampons and pads each month, to lessen the symptoms of endometriosis, as well as many others. By taking away employer copay coverage of birth control, it could make contraceptives unaffordable to some women. And society as a whole suffers when women aren’t able to get access to birth control. This pushes American progress back and reduces opportunities for women.

Contraceptives revolutionize society. They allow for families to put off having children until they are financially stable. They can also result in smaller families which means that there isn’t as much competition for resources. Smaller families also mean that more money and education can be dedicated to each child. This benefits the children as well as the parents.

Birth control also empowers women to have control over their body. It allows them to plan out their lives. They have dreams and goals they want to accomplish. By being able to put off pregnancy until they are ready, many women go on to have fulfilling careers and become a valuable part of the workforce. When that right is oppressed, women are oppressed.

Many people protested on Twitter their dismay at the policy change under the hashtag #HandsOffMyBC. Although this policy greatly affects women, it should resonate with everyone. This is not just women’s fight. This is everyone’s fight. One thing people can do is get vocal. Tweet under the hashtag #HandsOffMyBC, talk to people about it’s importance. Men can help by supporting women’s decision to take control of their bodies and their futures and by being advocates for them. People, call your representatives, write them letters, make people listen. This is a cause worth fighting for because women’s rights and health care are worth fighting for.