Controversial Contraception – The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle
5 million women in the US are taking some form of birth control pill. Whether for contraception, acne prevention or to regulate menstruation, âthe pillâ helps women to have control over their bodies. According to Planned Parenthood, despite the pill‘s widespread benefits and social support, many politicians are trying to disappoint the institutions that hold them back. More recently, access to the pill has been at risk, particularly due to the Trump administration, which actively sought to make birth control pills less accessible through health care.
For Oakwood student Sophia Diamond ’23, the pill was a happy solution to her long-term battle against acne and severe breakouts. After violent attacks, Diamond’s dermatologist and doctor recommended that she take the contraceptive. Diamond was one of the women given free access to birth control through the ACA.
“My skin got really bad and there are hormones in certain birth control pills that react with the hormones in your skin,” said Diamond. âSince I started taking [the pill]My skin is much clearer and I no longer have huge breakouts, but now I only get a little bit here and there. It helped a lot. “
After the Obama administration passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, hundreds of thousands of insured women were given access to free contraceptive pills. However, as soon as Trump was elected to office, he began taking those mandates back, according to HealthAffairs.com. Trump’s federal agencies have made it the right of companies to deny their employees free access to birth control if it goes against their moral or religious beliefs. Shortly thereafter, the Supreme Court recently upheld the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the ACA’s contraceptive mandate.
To solve problems related to hormonal acne in teenagers, doctors may prescribe birth controls to help smooth out breakouts. According to a 2017 study by Cutanea Life Sciences Inc, over 85% of teenagers said that acne caused them to struggle with self-confidence and self-awareness. . Cate Elson ’22, a student at Crossroads, said birth control changed her skin and allowed her to feel good like she had never done before.
“After years of struggling with my skin and trying different products, birth control has allowed me to become my most confident self,” said Elson. âIt instantly cleansed my skin on both my face and back and has continued to keep it clear for the three years I’ve been on it. It was originally supposed to help my skin, but it has also helped regulate my periods and relieve my cramps. “
Thousands of teenage girls like Diamond and Elson use birth control pills to not only prevent pregnancy, but also relieve painful menstrual cramps, regulate heavy periods, control cystic acne, and improve their overall state of being, according to Planned Parenthood. Marlborough student Hannah Corwin ’22 said her unpredictable and painful menstrual cycle up until she started using birth control added to anxiety about her already stressful life.
“In the past I always felt like I was preparing for my period and most of the time I felt sick and stuck in bed at home,” Corwin said. “Now I don’t have to worry about it anymore, and the pill gives me more security and regularity so I don’t always have to worry about when my period will come.”
Although some accept that others are taking the pill, others advocate for scars related to teen births that affect the young women who take them. Kate Hasset ’22 said she had turned to birth control to ease painful menstrual cramps and said that while she hasn’t seen much taboo around the pill in her social spheres, she has experienced stigma in religious situations.
“I went to a Christian school and recently met someone I used to go to school with,” said Hassett. âWe were talking about medications we were taking and I mentioned birth control and the person said to me, ‘Jesus would be so mad at you. ‘I’m Catholic and in [Catholicism] it is frowned upon. “
Maya Harbor ’21 said she also looked at some of the negative stereotypes surrounding the pill, even though she was taking it to relieve menstrual cramps.
“I feel like there is a lot of misunderstanding about the pill,” said Harbor. âMy mother said maybe she shouldn’t tell my father. I was confused because I literally only use it for my cramps. But some people assume that this is happening for other reasons. “
Oakwood Junior Coco Cooley ’22 said there are a number of other misconceptions regarding the method of contraception in addition to the lack of knowledge about the pill’s purposes. Cooley first started taking the pill as a pregnancy prevention agent, and although she had a positive experience with the first type of pill she was prescribed, she said she recognized that many women don’t.
“I think people often forget that ‘the pill’ isn’t just a pill and there are different types of birth control pills that use different hormones,” Cooley said. âYou’re on hormones so obviously chances are it won’t work at first and you’ll have to try another one. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing of experience. “
Cooley said she believes that people often mistakenly fear the pill and that proper contraceptive education, a key part of Planned Parenthood’s programs, is key to supporting women and ensuring their health.
Planned Parenthood is the largest reproductive services provider in the country and, according to its website, prescribes contraception for many women and girls across the country. In an interview with The Chronicle, Cathy Unger, a national board member for the organization, said a recent survey showed that Planned Parenthood is the most trusted reproductive care provider and thousands of women rely on it for their right to control true body.
“The wonderful thing about Planned Parenthood is that people can make their own decisions about what to do with their bodies,” said Unger. âIt is a non-judgmental way of dealing with people about contraception and abortion. We talk to our patients to find out what is best for them and let them make their own decisions. “
Diamond said she understands the importance of an organization like Planned Parenthood in a nation that has systematically suppressed women’s reproductive rights. She said she acknowledges that Planned Parenthood provides a variety of services to approximately 2.4 million women who rely on their programs and resources, and she is nervous about the possibility of a world without them.
âIt scares me that planned parenting could be removed from this country, though [the organization] provides free birth control for those who need it, it’s not just about birth control, âDiamond said. âPlanned parenting provides women with sex education and other resources. And for those in need of birth control, it’s not just about sex. The pill is used for so many things, like girls who have painful periods or girls with bad acne, there is more to it than just contraception. “