Birth control should be free for all women

by BRITTNY STEGALL//Opinion Editor

Take one, they’re free.

Those are famous words used by governments, schools, and health organizations.

Everywhere we turn our heads, there are free condoms. They hand them out at doctor’s offices, colleges, and even pride festivals. In my head, the million-dollar question is, “Why isn’t birth control free?” Yes, condoms are for anyone, but the market for condoms are men. Birth control can help prevent pregnancy, along with many other health issues.

I’m not saying birth control should be handed out like condoms, but women should be able to go to a doctor’s office and get the medical attention they need in order to obtain free birth control.

As a girl, I hear all the time to “be safe; don’t have a baby in college. Be smart.” Being provided with condoms only goes so far. There as so many possibilities that can go wrong. It can break, might not fit, weaken over time, and many more. I say, give me something so that I can also protect myself and not have to rely on the guy. Birth control is not a 100-percent guarantee, but neither are condoms. It will at least give us something to better protect ourselves from unexpected pregnancies, not to mention all the other positive health benefits from it.

Birth control is not only for preventing pregnancy. Other health benefits include helping irregular or heavy menstrual cycles, menstrual cramps, acne, PMS, Primary Ovarian Insufficiency, which is when a woman loses the normal function of her ovaries, endometriosis, a disorder that causes the tissue of the uterus to grow on the outside, and even hormone replacement therapy, which helps the body’s natural hormone levels, among many other medical conditions. Going through any of those conditions could be painful, and all it would take to help would be to provide birth control for women. It seems to me people are only worried about providing males with condoms and discriminating against women by not providing us with birth control.

There are multiple types of birth controls, it is not just “the pill.” Making all types available, at no cost, would make it possible for women to choose a method that will work best for them. It can also reduce the number of unintended pregnancies by giving the woman her own power to help prevent it. With birth control being free, it gives women more choices for their bodies. The more choices they have to make for their own bodies, the better.

Doing this will also save women money to spend on other necessities, such as rent, childcare, even college tuition.

Women who have a lower income have a harder time being able to spend the money to purchase birth control, which raises the chances of unintended pregnancies, getting cancer, and many other health problems. I believe we need to come together as a country and help every woman. I have personally seen many lower-income families with multiple children. The families try as hard as they can to raise the children well, but end up having a harder time providing and taking proper care of them. Having birth control could help prevent that.

Giving women the power to make their own choices over their bodies can and will make a huge impact in their lives. There is no reason to prevent that from happening.

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