Equality at a Higher Frequency

UltraViolet is a community of women and men, fighting to expand women's rights and combat sexism everywhere - from politics and government to media and pop culture.

Ultraviolet: Equality at a Higher Frequency

Birth Control Matters to Us!

While Congress debates birth control this week, we need to make sure they understand how important it is for the lives and health of millions of people. Check out these deeply moving stories from UltraViolet members about what's at stake in the birth control debate.

  • My daughter is prescribed a low dosage of these pills to combat cervical cancer since we have the irregular gene that brings on this horrible dease.

    Rosa, NY

  • As a woman who has endometriosis and is at high risk for ovairan and cervical cancer, I rely on access to daily birth control pills to dramatically reduce my risk of developing a potnetialy life-threatening cancer. (The treatment for which, I might add, is far more expensive than decades of birth control pills.)

  • I use it for medical purposes (adenomyosis) and with insurance plus a coupon it is still $40. My coupon expires soon :-( It is my monthly prescription so coverage would help me tremendously.ying to prevent something!!

    Rita, MS

  • At age 35 and I had given birth to 3 children, I was advised not to have any more pregnancies because of having a breast cancer diagnosis. So the use of birth control was necessary for the rest of my life so my three children would not lose their mother.

    Eileen, IN

  • My wife and I are trying to have a child. Our doctor has put her on birth control as a way to "resynchronize" her ovaries. Taking away birth control would remove one of the tools we use to become parents.

    Michael, FL

  • I am not the expert on this, but my mother, who has MS is prescribed hormone replacement therapy to alieviate some of the symptoms associated with MS, related to women's health. There has to be other women with MS in the USA being prescribed with this same therapy by their physician.

  • I had three miscarriages over a period of 6 years and was told that to carry a child to term I would have to go to bed for 7 to 8 mos. We both work and could not pay our mortgage and monthly expenses if we chose to pursue it. After that point neither of us could tolerate the heart ache and stress on my body of continuing not to use birth control. The expense was hefty but it allowed us to go on with our lives and make new choices.

    Virginia, VA

  • Debilitating cramps. My very first period was that most traumatic week of my life. Literally hemorrhaging unable to stop the bleeding, compounded with two days of diarrhea and the most painful stomach cramps I'd ever experienced. As my periods continued, the bleeding became more manageable, but the cramps and blood sugar drops were 2 to 3 days of hell. My parents didn't believe the severity until I passed out and smashed my face on the bathroom floor. After plastic surgery and a summer of hiding my face from the public, my mother took me to my first gynecologist. BIrth control pills was all there was for that. My Catholic parents were uneasy about that. Endometriosis wasn't even mentioned at that time. So, my families insurance covered the Percocet and Tylenol 3 for the pain. After college, my own insurance didn't cover birth control pills so I just continued to treat the symptoms. 15 years later and so accustomed to constant cramps and the horrendous side-effects of my periods, I had no idea what had been growing out of control in my uterus and rectum. I finally told my gyno that I had been bleeding more than 5 days a month and was seeing blood in my stools. They opened me up immediately. After four hours of laser surgery, I was told that if I had any chance at having kids that I had to go on the pill or depo-provera immediately, and continue until I was ready to get pregnant. You see, the scar tissue from the endemetriosis, called "webbing", had wrapped around my uterus and rectum. That explained why the "rhythm method" had been so effective - no egg had a chance. After the surgery and going on the "pill", my life changed. I started running and playing sports pain-free! At 36, I tried to get pregnant for 7 years. Finally, at 43 I got pregnant. And lost it 3 months later. The doctor said it was most likely because of my age. Bottom line, if I had gone on the pill earlier– I might have been able to be a mother today.

    Liza, TX

  • Birth control is important to me because it used to regulate my menstrual cycle and keeps my hormones in check. Also, my family isn't in a financial position to have any more children at this time. We struggle to keep our bills paid as it is. Our health insurance is through my husband's job. He works for a non-profit Catholic organization that does not allow the (otherwise great) insurance to cover birth control. I was paying for it, out of pocket for a while, but I had to stop because we couldn't afford the $109/month. My family and I are NOT Catholic and we don't feel that an employer should be able to make moral decisions for us.

    Anna, WI

  • Until I had a radical hysterectomy, I used birth control from the time I was 18. Access to safe and effective contraception enabled me to become the first person in my family and community to obtain a doctoral degree, to continue that commitment to higher education through educating others, and to have my own family at the right time. Birth control is not a privilege, it is a right. It is a right that helps keep this nation growing as an educated country, competitive in the rapidly changing world economy, and helps reduce the numbers of unwanted, abandoned, and abused children.

  • When I was 17, I was diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia - the doctors discovered that I had half the hemoglobin level of a normal person. My cross-country times dropped, I could no longer run without feeling faint, I could barely climb the stairs. My doctor prescribed birth control in the hope that, by regulating my menstrual cycle (which was heavy and irregular), birth control would bring my iron-deficiency anemia under control. However, my father worked at a Catholic-run university and his university insurance plan would not cover birth control - not even to treat a medical defect. So for the rest of high school and all of college (not until I went to graduate school and gained access to an insurance plan affiliated with my public university) every month I paid $150 out of pocket for my birth control. Birth control has allowed me to recover my strength, to return to athletics, to lead a normal life. But I still remember the pocketbook-breaking cost I suffered to receive the medication I needed to defeat my anemia.

  • Without access to birth control, I had three pregnancies in less than three years while in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship I was not free to leave. No woman should have to endure this and no child should be born into this type of circumstance.

    Eleanore, HI

  • I don't use it anymore but my lovely daughter relies on it. She uses it to make sure she does not get pregnant before she is ready. She is 21 and she is very responsible.

    Lillian, WA

  • I used birth control pills for contraceptive needs and also for 2 different gynecological medical problems, endometriosis and excessive uterine bleeding. The birth control pill I took for endometriosis, was prescribed in order to increase my chances to conceive.

    Michele, OR

  • I am a registered nurse, so know first hand the importance of contraceptive use in sexually active women! I was an ER nurse, an Obstetric nurse, and a college health nurse. I have witnessed the results of back room abortions prior to Roe v Wade. We must never go back to those days!

    Linda, AR

  • Six years ago I received the tremendous amazing gift of a pancreas and a kidney from an unrelated deceased donor. Somebody's son or daughter died to provide me with this marvelous gift of life. I think of myself as having a small part in carrying on the life of that someone's child. I gave up smoking because it is what I would do if I were pregnant with my own child. I follow the directions of my doctor and do my best to live a healthy life because it is what I would do if I could be pregnant with my own child. I give that person's child the respect and care I would give my own child. One of the recommendations is that I use two forms of birth control because one of the medications necessary to my survival, an anti-rejection drug called Mycophenolate Mofetil, causes severe birth defects and a very high fetal mortality rate. It is required of my doctors that they counsel me to take two forms of birth control. I also take 12 other medications which I could not afford to pay for without the help of the federal and state governments. People who loudly call for me to be denied access to all the medications I need are despicable. They endanger my life and dishonor the life of my donor, both of us actual human beings.

    Annette, MN

  • Fifteen years ago I was blessed to give birth to a healthy baby boy. Up until that time I was one of the 'lucky' women who had easy menstrual cycles, and I quickly conceived when my husband and I decided we were ready for a child. About a year after giving birth, my menstrual cycles took a drastic turn for the worst. I had developed endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). I was a busy wife and mother dedicated to my family and my job, but all of that came to a halt for two or three weeks a month -- every month -- because of my conditions. Through no fault of my own, I was nearly bedridden from debilitating pain and uncontrollable bleeding. I was frequently missing work, which was never the norm for me. I was no longer able to care for my son and husband as I once did. I was becoming dangerously anemic. My next blessing came by way of a wonderful physician who explained how birth control could regulate my menstrual cycles and alleviate most of the pain. His medical intervention was a success for me, and I did not have to resort to costly surgery.

    Amy, MI

  • Birth control pills are NEEDED to help me maintin my fragile health. My thyroid is out of control and I bleed excessivly during periods, becoming dangerously anemic. I also have ovarian cysts and women in my family die or nearly die when delivering babies. I'd rather NOT take those risks for myself OR pass these genes along to another generation!

    Elaine, VA

  • I am an 88 year old Grandmother and I deplore men making choices for women's health. Women are not baby-making machines as some men would have them be. All women should should decide for themselves if they wish to have children or not. Afterall, they are the ones who not only carry the children to birth but spend a major part of their lives taking care of their children.

    E, CA

  • At the age of 12 I was given a blood transfusion and put on birth control to stop my period which had lasted at least a month. I was not sexually active until 7 years later. If I had not hat access to birth control to stop the bleeding I surely would have died. This is only one of many reasons that birth control is important to me.

    Alayna, WA

  • My best friend and her mother are both on birth control to prevent ovarian cancer. My friend is only 20, but she's already needed surgery for an ovarian cyst. In addition to preventing life-threatening diseases and preserving fertility, birth control also prevents the birthing of children to parents unprepared to adequately care for them.

    Briana, CA

  • My wife has a chronic illness that means we must plan her pregnancies based on tests done by her doctor, not following that plan would put my wife's life in danger and could cause stillbirth.

    Benjamin, CA

  • Birth control is important to me because I am in no financial place to be able to raise a child, and I do not expect other people, through taxes, to monetarily raise the child, whom I cannot afford to have, for me.

    Stefany, CO

  • I have HPV, and pre-cancerous cells....my menses are debilitating, I suffer from cramps that feel comparable to contractions, I live for 3 to 4 days with heating pads at the highest setting on my lower back and low abdomen, I bleed heavily requiring super sized tampons and thick feminine pads, I suffer depression, extreme lethargy, and even nausea. Without birth control I wouldn't be able to work, because what employer will tolerate an employee taking a week off every month?? Birth control is IMPERATIVE to me living a HAPPY LIFE, which is my RIGHT!

    Carissa, TN

  • After having my first child prematurely by emergency c-section, I developed endometriosis due to complications during delivery. Endometriosis is a usually painful condition where cells that make up the uterine lining are living outside the womb and respond to reproductive hormones, causing the tissue to swell and sometimes bleed. I had pain in my lower right side abdomen for over a year before my doctor diagnosed it. The remedy? A prescription hormonal contraceptive pill. This relieved most of my symptoms and helped to make sure I did not need further surgery. Some women are rendered infertile relating to endometriosis, so the prescription may have helped maintain my fertility. Without that prescription, today I may not be holding our newest addition, a girl who was born this past Christmas Day. The doctor performing my second c-section was able to remove some of the endometriosis after delivering the baby, so my symptoms may be gone, we'll see.

    Jenn, IL

  • I had very irregular periods and it seemed very unlikely that we could conceive a child. My doctor prescribed birth control pills and after taking them for several months my periods became more regular and I was able to conceive a child. Without birth control pills we probably would not have had the privilege of parenthood.

    Jan, WI

  • As a 60 year old nurse midwife I have spent my career in public health caring for poor women. Not to offer contraception is giving women no choices about their reproductive health or gyn health. Contraceptives are used not only to prevent pregnancies (and in some cases, life threatening pregnancies) but to treat various gyn conditions such as severe dysmenorrhea, excessive bleeding, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, etc. In fact, the longer a woman uses birth control the less chance she has of getting ovarian cancer later in life. Shame shame shame on decison makers that think this is not a critical health issue!

    Patricia, NC

  • I am a thirty-one year old recent PhD (I just received my PhD two weeks ago) who has been married for four years. Although my husband and I have been in a committed relationship for a long time and have also wanted to have children, we were both graduate students earning extremely low incomes for the first five years we knew each other. There was no way we could have afforded to have children during this time. Now that I have finished my degree and my husband has been done for a year, we are finally expecting our first child. Birth control made it possible for us to plan our family responsibly, without overextending ourselves financially before finishing school.

    Daniella, RI

  • If, as a man, one cannot see that this issue is about equality, you are not a man. Men have been controlling women for thousands of years. This is issue is merely a symptom of this. Humans, as a species, are evolving. Quit fighting and accept that the old patriarchal ways are no longer needed, wanted or appreciated. Grow up and become men or get out of the way. Please

    Scott, AZ

  • At the age of 35 I began going through early menopause. My doctor prescribed birth control pills to help get my body back in balance. It worked. I have an 18 year old son. I would like him to be able to become the man he has the potential of being, not an unplanned father so young that his life is changed forever.

    Jacqueline, CA

  • I have had to go on birth control for medical reasons many times throughout my life even when i didn't want the hormones. Throught my young adult life i suffer from ovarian cysts that have even burst a few times (excruciating pain) and every time they tell me i have to go back on birth control to stop the growth of cysts. Then when i was off birth control again after trying to start a family, at age 39 i began bleeding uncontrollably every 2 weeks (early peri menopause or something) and my doctor told me i had to go back on birth control to regulate my hormones an stop the bleeding so i could go back out in public and to my job. Back in my mom's days that happened to her and they gave her a hysterectomy. Today they realize birth control can help and avoid major surgery.

    Jessica, CA

  • It is necessary. I was first prescribed birth control because of an inflamed ovary and it's impact on my cycle. I was 14 years old. My cycle lasted 2.5 weeks. My mom was aware of it and was in the room with me and the doctor when he wrote the prescription. Seven years later I was in college and the nurse wanted to prescribe the pill for me because of my irregular cycle. I was still a virgin. I couldn't get it at the campus medical hospital because it was a Catholic college. So I had to trek across town to find someone to fill my prescription.

    Jacqueline, CA

  • Using birth control is an important part of treatment for polycystic ovarian syndrome, which i was diagnosed with in college after spending several days in the hospital. Birth control has helped me maintain my physical health and reproductive ability and I can't imagine not having access to it. Also, as a survivor of date rape, having birth control was one of the only practical things that helped me deal with the rape. Other outcomes are unimaginable to me.

    Antonia, HI

  • The use of birth control pills is extremely important to me and all females in my family. We have been diagnosed with endometriosis at various ages. For those of us diagnosed in the child-bearing years, the use of birth control pills to control the bleeding and pain to preserve fertility was a necessary treatment.

    Sherry, WI

  • Birth control is important to me because it helped prevent my getting more ovarian cysts after I had to have my left ovary removed three months before I married my now-husband of almost 30 years. Had I been on birth control before that time, I might still have two ovaries, and possibly could have had more than one child (who I absolutely love) at the age of 40.

    Joan, NH

  • I have a family history of ovarian cysts and horrific menstrual periods. I was put on birth control at the age of 14 and stayed on them until after the birth of my second child. At that time, I had my tubes tide and a procedure done to my uterus that virtually stopped my periods. Had I not had the choice of birth control I would not have my children today. I would have opted for what the doctors originally wanted to do, a hysterectomy.

    Sandra, CA

  • My wife's last two pregnancies ended in miscarriages that were life threatening and we can't risk her getting pregnant again.

  • I am 61 years old now, so obviously birth control for me is a thing of the past., but here is my personal story. I was 15 when my boyfriend and I had sex for the first time. He was 17. My mother was old fashioned & did not talk about the ramifications of having unprotected sex. I got pregnant the first time I had sex. Abortion & adoption was discussed, but because I had been babysitting since I was 11, it was decided that I would marry the father and keep the baby. Five years later we were divorced and I received a total of $75 in child support during the following 13 years. As a result, it was imperative that I find a way to support my daughter. I attended college, receiving a B.A. and then became a police officer. Having another child while involved in law enforcement was not a good idea. My daughter suffered from my working nights, weekends and holidays. I did not want to to that to another child. Hence, birth control was an absolute necessity during my child bearing years. I eventually had my tubes tied which ended my reliance on birth control.

    Beth, CA

  • It is important to me personally because I am a healthy married woman with insulin-dependent diabetes. I have one son, who was planned for, conceived and carried to term, however the pregnancy required a great deal of work, excellent health care, and a significant amount of dedication. It is not easy to carry a pregnancy while also juggling a chronic disease, work, and life. I am still of reproductive age, want to enjoy a healthy relationship with my husband, and would absolutely need to plan another pregnancy if I choose to have one. I want control over my own fertility decisions because it directly correlates to my health, and my ability to take care of the family that I already have. My family is financially dependent on me at the moment, and an unplanned pregnancy would threaten my ability to do my job as effectively, putting our basic needs at risk. A pregnancy for a woman with Type 1 Diabetes is a full-time job in itself, and has its share of health risks. I should be able to choose that at the right time for me and for my family. Birth control allows me this freedom.

    Betsy, NY

  • I never had to use birth control pills for birth control because my gynecologist told me that I was infertile, but I did use birth control pills because my menstrual cycle was so erratic. I would have a period, and then seven months later have one and then two months later and then ten months later, etc.. Birth control pills helped even out my cycle, so I could eventually conceive my wonderful son, who was born fifteen months after we adopted our wonderful daughter. Our wonderful daughter never needed birth control pills as a method of birth control, but she had such severe cramping each and every period that our family doctor prescribed birth control pills so that she could function during her monthly periods.

    Nancy, KS

  • My 20-year old daughter is on birth control -- not because she's sexually active, but because she has SEIZURES. It is well-known that the hormonal imbalances that go along with a woman's cycle actually causes seizures in those who are prone to seizures. They are called catamenial seizures or catamenial epilepsy. Since she's started taking progesterone, her seizures have lessened.

  • Birth control matters to me because, prior to my hysterectomy, I had endometriosis, a disease that currently affects roughly 8.5 MILLION women in the United States. Endometriosis can cause pelvic pain and painful periods, ovarian cysts, immune-related diseases and infertility. The first line of treatment is hormone therapy (birth control pills), and often it is all that is needed to treat the disease. Without hormone therapy, surgery is the only other treatment.

    Monica, OH

  • My sister's ovaries stopped producing eggs on their own when she was 25 years old. This went on for 3 years before a doctor decided to prescribe her birth control pills to see if this would "jump start" the ovaries again. And it worked!! If it hadn't been for birth control, my sister may have lost the ability to have children. And the only reason she could afford the pill was because her insurance company covered it. If they had not, she would not have been able to regain normal function in her ovaries.

    Meggie, NY

  • I have used oral birth control medications throughout my life, both to prevent pregnancy and for hormone balancing therapy. Family planning is a personal decision that needs to include financial planning, health risks, family stability and many other factors unique to each person. Dependable contraception allows for planned pregnancies, when people are best prepared to handle the life time responsibility of a child. This is also an issue of womens health. It needs to be between the patient and her provider to determine what is best for her health, as well as any planned children. Government does not belong in my bedroom, bathroom or exam room. Access to comprehensive health care is necessary to have a healthy citizenship. Let's work on our rising infant mortality rate and childhood obesity crises. Let's address the real issues for rampant asthma in our youth and rising Autism rates. Let's address the poverty crisis that is leaving children neglected, hungry and ill cared for. These are the real threats to children. Supporting family planning and womens health issues is a big step in creating a healthy nation.

  • My daughter has inherited my debilitating dysmenorrhea. The vomiting , diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps, and back pain are comparable to initial childbirth symptoms; making it impossible to focus in classes or sit or stand at work. Birth control pill was the best alternative to a hysterectomy for this young woman (early 20's) and allows her to complete her university studies and be a productive worker. This saves all parties including her employers over the years, real money and hassle.

    Cheryl, CA

  • After multiple pregnancies, I have developed various complications that arise while pregnant. Due to this new reality, it is now medically necessary for me to use birth control so that I do not put my life or an unborn child's life in danger by inadvertently becoming pregnant again.

    Bridget, TN

  • I am 54 so I don't take birth control to keep from getting pregnant. I get hormonal migraines so my taking birth control is very important to me to keep me from getting migraines every day during my menstrual cycle. My daughter, who is 19, also suffers from the same problem, also takes birth control for the same reason. If we didn't have access to birth control, we would have to take another prescription drug to control our migraines, which is much more expensive and ultimately harder on our budget. When we use birth control, it keeps our migraines from overwhelming us and we only have to supplement with migraine prescription drugs occasionally.

    Cheryl, FL

  • I am 78 and not using birth control however, my grandchildren are totally dependent on it's availability. Such a strange world, as we struggle with finite resources rapidly being depleted, and violence, that we would even question the right of a woman to determine how many children she can care for. It is a human right.

    Denysebeaudet, CA

  • at fifteen I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was fourteen when I stopped having my period, which had always been regular. Doctors were not even thinking cancer they thought I had cysts and so they prescribed me birth control. When I had my surgery to remove the cancerous mass it was completely contained. My doctor told me that taking birth control had helped to slow the process of the mass development.

    Louise, NC

  • My 18 year old granddaughter is on birth control mainly to stop the severe cramps and heavy bleeding she has when she is on her period. Of course, she certainly doesn't want to get pregnant at this point -- she will be graduating from high school and going to college in the fall. She hopes to pursue a DPT degree in Physical Therapy, which will mean about 6 years of college. Having a child would certainly make a big difference in her life when she is not ready to have a child.

    Linda, FL

  • Birth control pills are hormones, often prescribed for other reasons. A physician prescribed birth control pills for me to control heavy bleeding. One of my daughters was prescribed birth control pills for skin rashes that nothing else would heal. As a young woman from an economically disadvantaged family, I knew that having children would not allow me to get educated, find work and contribute to society in a meaningful way. Therefore, I used birth control until I was ready to have a family. I worked my way through college, then had a family and returned to earn an MBA at the age of 50 and a single parent. I have two brilliant daughters, an attorney and a medical student, and I want them to have choices as well as access to health care and counseling for domestic violence.

    Debra, OH

  • Birth control pills were very important to me because I was chronically anemic due to heavy periods. After becoming regulated on BCPs I never again missed work due to hemorrhaging or fatigue from low hematocrits - I am a critical care nurse. When my daughter was 14 she developed large ovarian cysts which were so painful that she could not get out of bed & which caused her to miss school. She is now on BCPs & has not experienced any symptoms of cysts for 7 years.

  • In additional to using birth control to avoid pregnancy I also used it (in my 30's) to prevent bone loss that occurs secondary to amenorrea (when women stop having periods but are not in menopause). This is not a small issue as osteoporsis is a significant problem in women as they age.

    Dorene, WA

  • 1.) I don't want to get pregnant right now. 2.) I have endometriosis. Birth control helps treat this condition, so that when I decide to try to get pregnant, I might actually be able to do so. 3.) My sister has endometriosis and uses birth control to treat it. 4.) And if she can have children at the moment, she isn't ready. 5.) I'm an adjunct professor. I'm paid very little and don't have health insurance. I can't afford a child yet. My sister is a contract chemical engineer. Contracts are temporary and her life isn't very stable. She does not have very good health insurance either. Neither one of us or our partners are in good financial positions to have children at the time.

    Heather, IL

  • I have been taking birth control pills since the age of 21 when I was first diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Disease. My doctor prescribed the pill so that I would not develop multiple, potentially dangerous ovarian cysts. I have been able to manage the symptoms of PCOD successfully, and without surgery, for the past nearly three decades thanks to the use of birth control pills.

    Tamar, MI

  • Birth control is important because, as a young Hispanic woman attending college, this is my opportunity to work towards a meaningful career. When I take birth control, I think of my future child, who will hopefully reap the rewards of a mother who waited for financial and familial security.

  • I was diagnosed with uterine fibroids after the birth of my daughter. The birth control bills prescribed prevented the side effects that accompany fibroids, which include heavy menstrual bleeding and severe cramps. The only other option was to have a hysterectomy. At the time I was only 23 years old and wanted more children. The birth control relieved these symptoms for over 14 years. I have since had another child.

    Tosha, TX

  • I have three children, my husband is a disabled Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), and I care for my elderly mother who has autism. Another pregnancy would risk the health, quality of life, and financial security for me and my entire family. We rely on birth control to ensure that we can adequately care for the precious children we already have.

    Laurie, CA

  • I have used birth control for over 40 years. I have used it throughout various phases in my life, enabling me to plan my family effectively. I currently use birth control because I have uterine fibroids which were causing extreme blood loss and anemia. The IUD I had implanted has stopped the blood flow, cramps, and anemia. Without this, I would have needed to have a hysterectomy.

    Pamela, OR

  • Birth control is no longer personally relevant to me as I am post-menopausal, but having access to affordable birth control was *critical* during my reproductive years. First, like most young women of the '70s, I was sexually active: I had boyfriends and we had sex. I was also raped twice, and had I not been on birth control at the time, would not have been able to handle the consequences of pregnancy resulting from the rape. I was shattered enough by the experience. That experience caused me to volunteer at t rape-crisis-clinic and I talked to numerous women who did become pregnant from rape. It's not a myth.

    Barbara, NJ

  • Birth control is important to me as a woman because I believe that the quality of life for everyone is related to famiy decisionmaking. I live in western N Carolina where food insecurity is a sad fact. If low income and middle income women are not allowed access to affordable birth control, we make it harder for them to feed their families and that effects all of us.

    Lauri, NC

  • My husband and I are not ready for children. My husband is a special operations pilot and gone frequently and for irregular periods of time. We do not feel that his schedule is conducive to having children, as it would not be fair to him, me, or that child. If I wanted to be a single parent, as that is what his schedule would make me essentially, I would not have gotten married and had children a long time ago. Birth control makes it possible for my husband and I to have children when it is best for us AND our future children.

  • Professionally I was a nurse midwife and director of a teen maternity clinic for many years. I have seen first hand the results of the unavailability of no birth control and an aspirin between the knees doesn't help when you are being raped!

    Elisabeth, WI

  • Not long after we were married, my husband was laid off from his job. We discussed the situation and decided that we did not want to create a baby until our finances were more stable, so we could provide adequate nutrition and baby care supplies for that new member of our family. My physician agreed and wrote a prescription for oral contraceptives (OCs). My taking this medication provided peace of mind for both my husband and myself. My husband was very grateful that I helped us out with family planning. By the way, the OCs also helped me by relieving menstrual pain related to endometriosis. It is one of the best choices I have ever made. My husband and I want legislators to get out of our sex life!!

    Lynne, WA

  • I'm 15, but I'm worried that I won't be able to have access to birth control when I grow up. If I can't get birth control, I can't have a career, and I really want to be a doctor.

    Eliana, OH

  • I am on birth control because I suffered a pelvic injury that is exacerbated by PMS/Menstrual symptoms--this pain can be so sever as to render me unable to stand for longer than 10 minutes. Being on birth control minimizes and eliminates the pain normally experienced during menstrual cycles.

    Jenny, HI

  • I used birth control most of my life. I am Catholic and I am a nurse. I never wanted to have an abortion so I was always very careful to use birth control all the time unless I wanted to conceive a child. I used a federally funded family planning clinic when I was 18 until I had my own health insurance. After that I had my own coverage for birth control products. Me and my husband had 7 pregnancies, I had one stillborn baby, and 4 miscarriages, and two beautiful healthy baby boys who are now age 19 and age 15. I strongly believe that contraception should be available for all women and men free of charge and this will reduce the number of abortions. I want my sons to have birth control available for themselves and their partners when they need it. Birth control is important for men as well as women.

  • I am currently on birth control for my endometriosis. I've been on the pill (and now, due to unsuccesful medical menopause, Mirena) since I was 16 years old for help with unbearable cramping during my period. Several years ago, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. Since then, I've had surgery to remove polyps in an attempt to control the pain, which was lessened slightly by taking the pill. At Dr. Means' suggestion, my gynecologist, Dr. Theresa Craddock, agreed several months ago to allow me to give Mirena a try in order to attempt to lessen my pain and heavy flow during my period. It seems to be helping somewhat, and I'm grateful to have two such wonderful women to takee care of my health. Without birth control, I would be in completely unbearable pain every month-- I've had to skip days at school and work in the past because of it. If KS legislators continue their attack on women's rights and access to birth control, I may be forced to give up this miraculous cure. I'm tempted to write this next phrase all in caps, but I'll refrain-- I cannot go back to living in fear of that pain, and letting it control my life.

    Beth, KS

  • When I was first married, my husband and I were both in graduate school. We shared a tiny apartment with 2 of his siblings attending the same university. We had no privacy, no health care coverage and very little money. We were living thousands of miles from our parents and other supporting family. I often experienced depression during those early years in large part due to being so far from my support system. This was before the Internet and we could not afford long-distance phone calls. Without birth control, I would have become pregnant and I would have had to drop out of school. With no health insurance, prenatal care would have been a huge challenge. And my depression could have put any children at grave risk. By being able to postpone pregnancy until I was geographically, financially and emotionally ready, I have been able to raise 2 healthy, happy, hard-working children to adulthood. When to have a child, and how many children to have, is a deeply personal choice and no one knows better than the woman, her partner and her doctor what is right for her.

    Carrie, CA

  • My wife would not have gotten pregnant without the use of brith control .

    Middleton, WV

  • As a nurse midwife I am aware of the impact the availability of birth control has on women's lives and health, as well as for their families. Family planning should be just that and with the middle and lower economic classes struggling to get by, at least insurance companies should provide for free birth control measures. This is an excellent preventive health measure for many reasons both economic and from a public health prespective. A pregnancy is much more costly to an insurance company than a years worth of birth control pills or other contraceptive method. Many women are prescribed bc pills to manage gynecological problems to prevent complications and pain and discomfort. Others may have chronic health issues and pregnancy has to be carefully planned or they cannot risk pregnancy at all. It is a disgrace to our country to use women's health care needs as a political issue. If we want to prevent abortions, then contraception should encouraged, not discouraged. Please Congress, move into the 21st century. Women vote and won't stand for this!

    RN, NM

  • Almost as soon as I started menstruating as a young teen, my periods lasted at least 2 weeks. When I was 15, I became seriously anemic and required medical intervention to stop a period that had lasted for about 2 months. I was prescribed birth control pills to regulate my hormones so that I would not continue to experience menorrhagia every month. It worked.

    Kim, TX

  • I am a single mom by choice and used a donor. However with salary freezes and the economy, I would never want to risk having an unplanned child, and certainly not when I couldn't afford to give them the best life possible.

    Brandi, KY

  • My girlfriend is one of the unfortunate victims of Adenomyosis, and because of this she is faced with the unpleasant choice of having the male equivalent of her testicles lopped off, or go on the depo-provera shot to slow down the advancement of this disease. The pain involved in living with this disease is excruciating (at times, even debilitating) and contraceptives are, unlikely as it may seem, one of the few things that are helping to ease her pain. That is precisely why I find it morally loathsome to see selected members of congress cherry pick and willfully profess falsehoods and characterizations that have no grounds in reality

    DCutler, MA

  • I was in a very abusive relationship when I was younger. I was beaten and forcibly raped on a regular basis. He allowed his friends to abuse and rape me. He tried to impregnate me even though I did not want a baby to ensure that I would not try to leave. I was a thing, not a person. I had to hide birth control. I am lucky to be alive today. Many years later I am married to a wonderful man, and we hope to start a family- it is my choice again. If I had not had access to birth control then, I wouldn't have the life I have today. Staying child-free allowed me to escape that situation, and gave me the chance of a better future and the chance to have a real family.

    America, WY

  • I have been on birth control pills more often than not since I was 11, due to hormonal irregularities and eventually problems with endometriosis. Birth control has allowed me to have some control over my health, financial security and my life. Without it, I doubt I would have been able to hold a job for as long as I have. Medical bills have always been high for me so I often had to struggle to make the payments for whatever birth control pills I was using at the time. Birth control should be readily available to all women who need them, regardless of their financial status.

    Rachel, CO

  • If I had not had access to birth control, I would not have been able to plan when to have children or how many to have. If I had not been able to plan my pregnancies, I would not have been able to finish college and go to law school, to earn enough money to support my family, to pursue a career that I love, or to be a productive member of my community.

    Penn, GA

  • Am too old to need it, but I used for health reasons when I was younger. We need to refer to contraception as "family planning" Why don't they require a rectal prob for men wanting Viagra or vasectomies?

  • As an uninsured college student I used Planned Parenthood and birth control pills to prevent untimely and unwanted pregnancies. Twenty-five years and two planned children later, I was prescribed a Progestin only contraceptive to treat endometrial hyperplasia. Contraceptives are prescribed to treat a variety of medical conditions resulting from hormonal imbalances, They are not just for the prevention of pregnancy.

    Joni, IA

  • I am now past the age of child-bearing. When I had my two children, I developed preeclampsia with both of them. With my first, it developed three weeks before I was due: with the second it developed SIX weeks before I was due. After the birth of my second son, my OB/GYN told me NOT to attempt to have any more children, as it now looked as if I would develop preeclampsia or eclampsia earlier and earlier, putting subsequent children at risk - as well as placing me at risk of stroke, heart attack, liver failure or kidney disease. It was not a hard decision for me to agree with him. I wanted to be around, healthy and fully able, to raise my children to adulthood. They are now adults, giving and contributing to society. By the way I'm Catholic and had planned on having more than three children. However, my body's biology decided otherwise. Birth control helped me avoid certain, crippling illness or death.

    Barbara, NM

  • I used it when I was younger. I'm 53 now and have had a hysterectomy. My husband and I couldn't afford more than 2 children. We wanted to save for them to attend college. The economy required both of us to work to achieve that and I wanted to work as an RN. That was my calling in life, not just a paycheck.

    Mary, TX

  • Luckily turning the age of 65 I do not use birth control pills any longer. I was diagnosed in my teens with polycistic ovary disease. Luckily birth control pills had just been available at that time. I was prescribed birth control pills to control the symptoms of the disease. Without the pills I would have had many miserable years. I most probably would have had unwanted pregnancy due to my irregualar menses. One of my daughters had endeometriosis. She had to take the pills for years to control her symptoms from the age of l6. Without the pills she would have had to miss school , colllege and eventually work on the days that she had her period due to severe pain and bleeding.

    Ronnie, NC

  • Ever since the first day I had a cycle it has been torture. I suffer sever cramps to the point that I vomit and literally cannot move. Regular motrin or tylenol just do not work. I have to take prescription vicoden. And I never know when it is going to come as I am extremely irregular. I am so bad that when I went off them in an attempt to get pregnant I had to put in for FMLA to protect my job as I was calling in sick so often due to this. When I was 18 my doctor put me on birth control pills mainly to give me a regualr cycle. The other bonus is that it somehow controls just how severe the cramping is. So I am no longer bed ridden on the first 2 days. If it were not for birth control pills, I would not only be miserable, but my job would be in jeopardy.

    Carrie, VA

  • I am a mother, and though I don't have daughters, my sons were raised understanding that birth control is not a frivolous thing. My husband and I could not afford children for a number of years. Instead of goofing around with ineffective contraception, being able to use good adequate birth control meant that we were able to provide for our children. Many of us don't have the luxuries that Republican congressman have. My story isn't dramatic, there weren't any cysts or rape or anything like that. It's very ordinary. I watched my two nephews being raised in poverty because their mother could not get contraception or heaven forbid an abortion. Poverty has become endemic to that family. Women's reproductive health has a serious economic impact, on families, communities, and our countries. I think of the years I spent in Klamath Falls Oregon, watching teenage mothers push their baby carriages around town, catch the bus, drop out of high school. Contraception was considered frivolous in that community.

    Danette, OR

  • I am and was a practicing Catholic. At the age of 25 I had to be permanently sterilized due to the fact that in my first pregnancy I had toxemia and my second I had pre-eclampsia. These are life threatening conditions brought on by pregnancies. I was warned not to have any more children if I wanted to be alive to raise the two children that I had. So, I had a tubal ligation with my priest's blessings and it was paid for by insurance. This was not a moral issue,but a life-saving issue.

    Kathy, IN

  • I use birth control pills, not to prevent pregnancy, rather to help regulate my cycle and ameliorate the physical symptoms I have, which include cramping so severe that I miss work.

    Amanda, IL

  • For many years I used birth control. As a working mother I could not afford to have more children. Also, after numerous miscarriages, I needed to let my body heal properly before I got pregnant again. Taking birth control for a couple of years allowed me to finally have a viable pregnancy after four miscarriages.

    Sally, CA

  • When I was in my early twenties, I developed endometriosis and thankfully had birthcontrol pills prescribed by my doctor to reduce the endometriosis. The pills eventually helped to end the pain and the problem.

    Lindy, AL

  • I was a victim of endometriosis which ultimately resulted in a total hysterectomy in 1975. The ten years preceding the diagnosis and surgical intervention, I was treated with birth control pills in attempts to stabilize and minimize menstral bleeding. It was a significant medical option; one that no male politician can pretend to understand.

    SD, FL

  • I began using birth control at sixteen, under guidance of my OB/GYN to regulate my monthly cycle. At that time I was a competitive runner. It is not uncommon for young female athletes to experience irregular cycles, and birth control is a very common remedy. I remained on birth control throughout college, long after I was no longer eligible to be covered on my parent's health insurance, through the campus health center. Birth control was very affordable under the campus plan, and if it had not been for the access at my university, I would not have been able to afford the rising out of pocket cost. Now, at twenty-nine, birth control has become a necessity. After discovering cysts and tumors developing on my ovaries, and undergoing surgery, I use birth control to maintain my health. Ovarian cysts and tumors are extremely painful. They can lead to the removal of ovaries, limiting the possibility of reproduction, and in dire cases, the development of cancer.

    Laura, GA

  • My daughter takes an oral contraceptive because she has Von Willebrands disease. Without it her periods last for 2 weeks and one lasted a whole month. She would need a hysterectomy without birth control pills. Just like the friend of the lady who wasn't allowed to testify, the "pill" preserves my daughter's fertility and is necessary to her health. It has not made her into some type of crazed slut as the Republicans imply.

  • Birth control is important to me personally because I had to start using it in 8th grade because my menstrual cycle became so un-bearable with cramps and caused me to throw up. I missed 1-2 days of school a month because of this. My mom and doctor recommened the Pill to help with this problem. My pain was gone once I started them. Now I have an IUD which I got for free because of a grant program at a women's health clinic in my community. No body wants to be in pain. birth control helps make women's lives much easier in this aspect. I also feel it the a woman's choice to deside if she wants to pro-create or not. These congressMEN have never had to endure the pain and suffering some women go through when they give birth or find out they have an unintended pregnancy.

    Kylie, IA

  • When I was 30, I donated a kidney to my brother. I had to use effective birth control pills for a full year before it was safe for me to become pregnant. I went off the pill, had one period, and then became pregnant with my now lovely 16 year old daughter. I needed that time to let my body heal properly. (My brother passed away in 2007, but the kidney served him well for 13 years.)

    Roberta, AZ

  • Birth contol is important to me because it not only helps with keeping my body in a regular cycle, reduce menstral cramps, helps balance my hormones, which reduces my acne, but most importantly helps me be in charge of my own life. I am a student in the health care field, studying to be a respiratory therapist. I average 40 hours a week in lecture and clinical rotations. When I get home my school work continues with countless hours of studying. I am thankful I have the option of not getting pregnant because of birth control, and I can focus on my career of helping others. I want to children one day, but right now I need to be able to study so I have the finacial means to take care of my kids.

    Lindsey, TX

  • I am a medical student. I am very interested in starting a family some day, but not right now. At the same time, I wish to safely enrich my relationship with my fiance emotionally and sexually. Financially, emotionally, and for my health (stress is a HUGE factor in health!) the right thing for me to do is wait a few more years to have children. After I have started a family, I will take some form of birth control again, because I believe the right thing for my family financially is to only have 2 children. This is also the socially responsible thing to do, as our human population reaches more unsustainable levels every year. Finally, I was prescribed birth control at 13 years of age for my extreme acne. Because I was afraid of the stigma attached to taking birth control as a young teenager, even though I was not sexually active until I was 21, I refused treatment for my acne using hormones. As a result, I used acutane, which was extremely expensive, has horrible side effects, and did NOT cure my acne. My face is very scarred from acne that could have been prevented if I started using birth control. For all these reasons and more that do not (yet) pertain to me personally, I believe birth control should be provided by all insurance companies. It's a health issue. It's a financial issue. It's a social issue. Take it seriously, and give women a voice.

    Erika, MI

  • As an Ob/gyn with over 30 years experience caring for women (no, I do not need contraception now), I have witnessed how important it is for women to have access to reliable affordable contraception. For me and my female colleagues, it was very important to be able to space our own children so that we could take care of others.

    Cornelia, MA

  • I was born and raised a Catholic and married a devout Catholic man. We could not have a child for many years and then thru medical help, we had a daughter who filled our lives with joy. Financially, we just managed to keep our heads above water and hoped to space the arrival of other children when our situation improved. We followed the church's rulings, but two more children were born within three years. We are happy to have these children, but it put a strain on our finances and we were not able to accomplish our goals.

  • My best friend suffers from chronic migraines and crippling menstruation cramps. This combination prevented her from attending school for weeks on end in high school, producing grades that barely allowed her to graduate - and when she did, her bad grades destroyed any chance she had of getting a scholarship that would allow her poverty-stricken family to send her to a university. Immediately following graduation, she started birth control to regulate the hormones in her body, a technique which has been statistically shown to improve both female cramps and chronic migraines. Simultaneously, she began attending a community college. Her grades immediately improved, and she hasn't missed school due to migraines or her periods since. Now, she attends the same out-of-state private university I do, with enough of a scholarship to help her family pay. If her father's insurance hadn't covered birth control, she'd probably be stuck working some fast food joint now, if she had a job at all with all of her sick days, unable to become anything like what her intelligence and creativity deem she should become and unable to help her parents take care of her Downs-syndrome brother. In addition, she's staunchly Christian, and has never had sex, and has no intention of doing so until she is married. Birth control for her is a medication, just like any other, to help her manage two painfully crippling conditions. Denying access to others who might not be lucky enough to have insurance that covers it is unethical.

    Kayli, WA

  • I am Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, who has specilaized in Family Planning for over 25 years. I personally had a baby at age 17, and had to live on welfare while I attended nursing school to become an RN, and eventually a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner. I am not proud of the mistakes I made in my own life, and don't expect anyone else to pay for them. I really needed help to do better and become a better mother and citizen. Having the option of using contraception meant I didn't have another unplanned pregancy while I was getting an education, and improved the financial and social outlook for myself and my little boy. I had no money to pay for birth control pills myself, ( they were about $25 a pack back then, now they are about 9$, if you get a generic). I am very thankful for the medicaid card I had back then, that covered the cost of them. As I matured, I realized many things, and took responsiblity for my actions, and became a taxpayer instead of a liability on this country. I am religious. Contraception has many health benefits for families, and women in particular. Women on birth control pills,Depoprovera shots, and certain IUD's have less incidence of anemia, ovarian cysts, and ovarian cancer, and cancer of the lining of the uterus. Women miss less work from menstrual problems such as heavy bleeding and severe menstrual cramps. Families who plan and space their children are less likely to live in poverty, and suffer from social issues such as domestic violence and substance abuse. The children of such families are more likely to complete high school, and avoid serious behavior problems, or be the victim of child abuse. Half of all pregancies in America are unplanned, and half of those result in abortions. I have spent the past 25 years prescribing contraceptives for couples, and encouraging them to be responsible, to love and take good care of the children they do have, and to get an education. When people know better, they do better. More women die of pregancy and childbirth than from complications from all contraceptive methods combined. Unplanned pregnancy is high risk, due to many factors, and often results in complications for mothers, who often present late for prenatal care, and have infants who are ill from preterm birth, and low birth weight. These problems are VERY EXPENSIVE to pay for. Tax payers foot the bill for all this, since these patients are most often the young, the poor and the uninsured. Contraception is much less expensive than high risk pregnancy, C-section, and neonatal intensive care. Insurance companies already refuse reimbursement for all kinds of healthcare. They already attempt to dictate and limit the care by refusing to pay for it. The standards of patient care concerning contraceptive services are based on research and current objective data on best practices. No insurance company should be allowed to refuse to provide cost saving, life saving medications and procedures to patients, whatever their stated reason. This is clearly a patient safety and quality of care issue. Decisions must be based on objective data and research to determine best practices, and reimbursement requirements.. If religious healthcare institutions who have chosen to form insurance companies don't want to pay for cost-effective , lifesaving healthcare medications and procedures, they must be able to justify their refusal, in terms of objective data, and research. Anything less is an injustice to all Americans.

  • Birth Control allowed me to get an education and work in a profession in addition to being a mother and raising children when that best fit my life. It allowed my husband to get HIS education and follow HIS profession without concern for supporting a larger family that we could comfortably support! It allowed us to limit the number of children to what we as a responsible couple felt was right for us and what we could raise to be productive members of society. It allowed us to have a healthy sexual life within our marriage without concern that an unplanned child would add an unnecessary burden. It allowed BOTH of us to be who we chose to be. I counseled women with unplanned pregnancies in the late 1960’s. I have personally seen and felt the pain of the decisions they had to make.

    Judith, PA

  • Access to birth control allowed me to pursue my education. I have a Bachelor's degree and now I am planning to pursue a Master's degree. I am glad that I can decide when and if I have children. This gives me freedom to achieve my goals and be independent. If there was no birth control, I would have probably never gone to college. Also, I rely on hormonal birth control to help alleviate the pain and discomfort which comes with menstruation. The birth control pill also prevents me from losing too much blood and becoming anemic, like I used to in the past.

    Irina, CO

  • My partner of 8 years and I used condoms for birth control. I used to be on the pill but am too old for it now. We ordiginally used birth control because we couldn't afford a child. We live in a studio apartment, work 40+ hours a week, and are living pay-check to paycheck. Now it is even more important for me to not get pregnant because I am in my 40s, and the chances of having a child with down syndrom is significantly increased.

    Shannon, CA

  • My very much longed for and wanted second child, my son Christian, was born at 29 weeks and 5 days and then died after only ten hours of life due to the loss of amniotic fluid earlier in the pregnancy from a less than ideal placenta. My family and I were destroyed. While we certainly wanted other children and are thrilled to now have them, I could not have imagined not being able to use birth control in order to determine the timing of my subsequent children. After the loss of a baby you need time to grieve but you also need to be close to your husband without fear of a subsequent pregnancy occurring before you are ready.

    Helen, NC

  • Because I used to take 'the pill' I have a lower risk of developing the cancer which killed my mother.

    Jeannie, MD

  • I use birth control for more than just to prevent pregnancy. My mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer three years ago. I use birth control to help prevent getting this silent killer.

    Cindy, WI

  • I am a single young woman in a committed relationship. I am also a college student. While I am faithful and use protection, there have been times when a condom was not enough, or for some reason did not work as it was supposed to. I would never have an abortion, and I would hate to give up a child for adoption. I want to be a mother, but not until I have a degree, a job, and enough stability to ensure that my children have a good and safe life. Birth control helps me be as responsible as I can be now, so that I can be a better and stronger mother, woman, and worker in the future.

    Maria, NY

  • I am a 66 year old woman who used birth control for years when I was of the child bearing age. I now have two healthy adult children. My 37 year old daughter can not afford the $600 anual fee of birth control, and so she chose instead the IUD. It needs to be changed every two years and is a major investment as well. My daughter has a college degree and makes about $30,000 a year, and yet she feels birth control is too expensive for her budget. If this new law is passed, she and many women who make lower salaries will be able to choose the best contraception for them and then choose if and when they want to get pregnant. How can this be bad? To me this attempt to take away free contraceptives is a blatant way to take away the control of women over their own bodies. It is shameless. I can't believe this is happening in the twenty-first century in America.

    Sally, NM

  • I have been prescribed birth control medications to treat endometriosis. Ironically, I have never used my "birth control" medicines for birth control, but without them I would be incapacitated by debilitating pain. Untreated endometriosis can also cause infertility and pretreatment with contraceptives is a standard treatment to help women with endometriosis conceive.

    Julie, OR

  • I have been prescribed birth control medications to treat endometriosis. Ironically, I have never used my "birth control" medicines for birth control, but without them I would be incapacitated by debilitating pain. Untreated endometriosis can also cause infertility and pretreatment with contraceptives is a standard treatment to help women with endometriosis conceive.

    Julie, OR

  • I am writing about my best friend. She is in her 50s and, probably because of the hormonal changes of the age, was bleeding excessively every month to the point that her iron level was extremely low, making her weak and causing other health problems. Her doctor prescribed birth control pills and that has stabilized her bleeding problem and her iron is now nearly normal again. Her energy and effectiveness are back, the color of her skin is back to normal. She needed her insurance to pay for birth control pills for her overall health. She is not the only friend of mine with a similar story of needing birth control pills for health reasons not related to preventing pregnancy, although preventing pregnancy is obviously the main reason to make sure it is covered by insurance.

    Linda, VA

  • I'm a 21 year old college student. 3 years ago I thought I was in love and moved in with a boy. He was an abusive, manipulative jerk and, after a friend made me see what he was doing to me, I was able to get him out of my life. We slept together for 2 years. He refused to wear condoms and was very much against abstinence. If I had not had birth control, the chances are I would have gotten pregnant and had his child. I barely make ends meet for myself. If I had gotten pregnant, I wouldn't have been able to stay in school.

    Jennifer, WA

  • I am not sexually active and never have been but I have a hormonal imbalance that causes an excess of male hormones to flood my system, Birth control gives me enough estrogen to balance this and reduce the facial hair, body hair and even levels of my aggression to less obvious portions. Other women such as a friend of mine have used Birth Control since high school as a means to keep her terrible acne at a more normal level. Birth control is more than just for preventing pregnancy- it's a hormonal balancing tool that some women need to maintain every day life without feeling freakish both mentally and physically. If men can use Erectile dysfunction medication and receive that through state sponsored insurance to make them feel less like failures I see no reason woman can't use Birth Control for the same and so much more.

    Daisy, OR

  • My daughter is 24, but she has had a number of medical issues that are resolved through birth control pill, but as she also has migraines, she is no longer able to take any of the pills because of the level of estrogen. Instead, she was prescribed Depo-Provera, a shot that costs hundreds of dollars every three months. Last September, she went off of it because of the expense. She'd hoped that she had outgrown some of the initial problems, but since she has been off, they have all returned. For her, the shot is medically needed but is not covered by our insurance plan.

    Ann, NJ

  • I realized my marriage was over when my alcoholic husband began to verberally and physically abuse me in front of my children. The birth control pills kept me from getting pregnant against my will until I could find a way out safely and away from him forever. Which I soon did. I was able to provide for the two children I had but more children would have been very difficult. He died young from his illness and we never had any child support.

  • Birth control is important to me because I used it from my teens through my early thirties until I got married [starting with a diaphragm that I received for free from my neighborhood clinic in my home state of Massachusetts and then birth control pills, which I was able to get from both my undergraduate university (Howard University) and my post graduate university (UC Berkeley) student health services at no extra cost to eventually buying them once I started working.] I was able to prevent an unplanned pregnancy; obtain an MBA; and try to start a family when I got married in my early thirties. At both the neighborhood clinic and my undergraduate university health service, I received safe-sex counseling services in conjunction with the dispensation of birth control methods. These two things served to help me take better care of my health and plan my future career, without the burden of not knowing how to protect myself from disease and unplanned pregnancies. Many of my peers have used birth control as well for the same reasons that I have used it and have gone on to have both fruitful careers and children at a time when they were ready to do so.

    Kelly, CA

  • Before I was married and sexualy active I was prescribed birth control to deal with painful ovarian cysts which burst and left me writhing in pain! I also had irregular cycles. I also work with many special needs children whose parents simply cannot afford more children and they would be predisposed to medical issues based on their genetics. Some are already on public aid insurance and receive governmental assistance financially and are being responsible by choosing to have no more children that they woud be unable to provide for. This is there right and their choice! This whole issue is absurd and ridiculous. These are the same group of people who don't want to provide welfare or insurance or birth control. The expectation is that the infirm, unwilling, non christian, and poor should just remain celibate. It is akin to forceably making a woman conceive.

    Melissa, IL

  • I have PCOS. I have had cysts on my ovaries. During a time when I was celibate and not needing birth control to prevent pregnancy, I was denied coverage for birth control for my health issues. Birth control helps to regulate a woman's hormones. I was working for Catholic Charities and told that the insurance company would not cover the expense. Not even for a health reason. This is the argument I have seen lacking here. I have seen not one doctor or person come forward saying that the pills can be used for health purposes not just to prevent pregnancy. I am also a minister. Mark 5:25 starts the story of the woman with the issue of blood. She was not allowed to be in contact with anyone because she was considered unclean. She had been bleeding for 12 years. Not one doctor could help. For 12 years she was an outcast in her community because she was always "unclean". To her credit though when she heard about Jesus she pressed her way through a crowd of people to become healed. She did the very thing she was not allowed to do because she was "unclean". She touched his clothing and as the story says she was healed. Sometimes you need the very thing that society has said you shouldn't. Jesus never condemned her for touching him because she needed to be healed. Why do we now (some of us) believe we must condemn others simply seeking to be healed?

    Dana, OH

  • I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2005, and my doctor said that the stress of a pregnancy could very well cause the disease to surge and progress; as a mature woman, i choose not to bring a child into this world with the knowledge that her mother might not be able to care for her.

    Margaret, OR

  • "Birth control" isn't always about controlling birth, sometimes it is necesary for other medical treatments. My periods used to be very irregular - anywhere from 2 days to 6 weeks between each, they lasted up to three weeks, and were so heavy that I was severely anemic, I had no energy and was unable to lead a normal active life. My doctor prescribed birth control - "the pill" - which totally transformed my life! My periods were regular, lasted less than a week each, I was no longer anemic, and I was again able to live a full life. Later, when I married, birth control allowed me to choose when to have a family, so I could continue working and helping to pay the bills while my husband was in the military and on very low pay. I firmly believe that matters concerning women's health - indeed, concerning the health of every single one of us - is a matter between each of us and our healthcare provider; every single one of us should have access to whatever healthcare our doctor deems necessary, and at an affordable price.

    Joan, GA

  • Although I am well past my fertile years, I am following the controversy closely. I grew up with five younger siblings, all the result of the brutal and unnatural "rythmn method," and I saw first hand how unplanned pregnancies disrupted a family's financial, medical and emotional life. My mother nearly died with child #4, and to this day I remember the terror I felt when she announced the two ensuing pregnancies. We struggled with tight budgets, inadequate parental emotional resources, and impossible medical choices. When I reached adulthood I welcomed the pill so that I was not pregnant six weeks after the wedding, as my mother had been. My husband and I were able to establish our relationship on a firm footing and plan pregnancies when we were financially stable. When I developed a postpartum depression that went undiagnosed for years, I was even more grateful for birth control, because I knew I would kill myself if I got pregnant again. Make no mistake--BIRTH CONTROL SAVED MY LIFE. Birth control meant that I did not leave my children motherless and their father a widower. Even after I opted for sterilization and psychotherapy, I occasionally relied on the pill for medical issues that arose as I passed through menopause. Again, birth control may have saved my life.

    Nikki, NH

  • First, I must say that I am a faithful and actively practicing Catholic. I am not currently using birth control because we are trying to conceive. However, even within my marriage, we have chosen to use birth control so that we could choose when we would be financially and emotionally ready for children. Once we have two children, we will again use birth control to ensure that our family remains at a size we can afford and to be responsible about not overpopulating our planet. Accessible birth control allows loving couples the ability to make thoughtful decisions about their own family.

    Anice, MD

  • My dad had severe hemophilia and died of complications at the age of 38. I am a carrier of hemophilia. This means that, I have a 25% chance of having a child with the same condition that killed my father and prevented him from enjoying many beautiful activities, cost him a lot of money and debt in medical bills, and caused me to lose my father when I was two. I am neither emotionally nor financially prepared to have children, much less a child with a debilitating condition. For me, access to birth control means that my husband and I don't have to worry about this possibility until we're ready. And probably, when we're ready, we'll adopt a child who needs a home.

    Eva, OR

  • When I was young I had terribly heavy, painful, irregular periods. I was put on birth control while I was in high school to help regulate the periods and ease the pain. Before birth control I would scrunch up in a fetal position in pain. After going on the pill I was able to participate in daily activities and play competetive sports with ease.

    Linda, IL

  • When I was young I had terribly heavy, painful, irregular periods. I was put on birth control while I was in high school to help regulate the periods and ease the pain. Before birth control I would scrunch up in a fetal position in pain. After going on the pill I was able to participate in daily activities and play competetive sports with ease.

    Linda, IL

  • I was put on birth control pills to regulate very irregular periods. I had been trying to conceive after almost 4 years of marriage, and the pill gave me the regular periods I needed. Our first child was conceived 18 months later. When we decided to limit our family to two children due to finances, the pill prevented an unwanted pregnancy until my husband felt ready to have a vasectomy.

    Maureen, MI

  • I use birth control because my gynecologist prescribed it to me after she had to do a DNC to scrape dozens of precancerous cysts from my uterus because I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. She said in another 6 months I would have had full blown cancer. So many women are prescribed birth control pills in order to get the right amounts of hormones to have their periods, or to make their periods more normal. Congress needs to be talking to gynecologists and patients, not clueless men and clergy.

    Tammy, CA

  • Forty years ago my husband was in professional school and I worked to support us. Because having a child would have ended our dreams for the future I got a Dalkon Shield IUD for contraception. It did not work and I was pregnant. At that time the only legal abortion was in New York, a great distance from where we lived in Michigan. We spent the entire $350 he had earned working over the summer intended for school for the abortion and had to borrow money for school. It was a terrible experience and had New York not been progressive enough to have the right to abortion I do not know where my husband and I would be today. He is a successful health care provider and I live the life I dreamed about all those years ago. And by the way, we decided not to have children. We traveled the world and did volunteer health care instead. Some people are meant to be parents and some would prefer not. It is a decision we have never regretted.

    Diana, HI

  • As a women and a physician I believe that having the option of having access to birth control is important not only for health reasons (eg management of dysfunctional uterine bleeding) but also socioeconomic reasons (ie preventing unwanted pregnancies/straining Individual and family systems that are unprepared and under resourced for a major life commitment). Studies repeatedly show that abstinence is not a viable/successful option and prevention is superior in terms of not only preventing complications such as those associated with miscarriage and abortion but also significantly less fiscally draining on a healthcare system that is one of the most expensive in the world.

    Linh, OR

  • I suffer from endometriosis. It is a progressive PAINFUL condition that requires surgery every couple of years to remove unless on birth control on a dosage where you don't even get periods. That's the only way to keep it from spreading. Without birth control I would be having surgery every 2 years, as it is I haven't had surgery for 8.

    Heather, HI

  • When I was young I went to a private church-affiliated college where health services refused to prescribe me birth control. Not unpredictably I had to resort to abortion - at that time very difficult and expensive.

    Johanna, FL

  • I am prone to severe, abnormal cramping (in which I would vomit and be effectively crippled from the pain) in addition to non existent menstrual cycles. My hormonal make up is off balance causing my body to literally fight me. In the end I was diagnosed polycystic ovary syndrome. I was proscribed these pills and so far I am able to deal with normal, expected periods. I am able to regulate the high amount of androgen and in general feel healthier.

  • As a teenager without access to birth control I became pregnant and placed a child for adoption. The decision was incredibly difficult and continues to cause me pain today even though I have now happy been reunited with my daughter. Once I was in college I was able to gain access to contraception through my university health clinic. In addition to using the pill to prevent pregnancy, the hormones also caused my period to be lighter which helped control the anemia that otherwise posed a danger to my health. Today I am married to a man with a vasectomy but still use a Mirena IUD because the hormones it contains make my periods lighter which keeps me from becoming anemic every month due to my extremely heavy periods.

    Robyn, MS

  • I use it as contraception. It's extremely important to me, because I know with confidence that I will be safe from an unwanted and premature pregnancy. I want to finish college, have a career, and be self-reliant before I even consider bringing another human being into this world. Too often I hear or know of girls who were not open with their parents about sex and so they didn't use birth control and ended up with a child at 15 because they couldn't bring themselves to abort the child. I'm entitled to a mature relationship as well as control over my reproductive health. Birth control has also been useful in regulating my periods. They are shorter and less painful, so I'm more productive. If I need to skip my period because it's inconvenient for that month, I can. Many women need it for even more severe conditions, along with the useful functions I just described. The fact that people think this shouldn't be covered when so many women make use of it and rely on it is ridiculous.

    Sam, CA

  • I use it as contraception. It's extremely important to me, because I know with confidence that I will be safe from an unwanted and premature pregnancy. I want to finish college, have a career, and be self-reliant before I even consider bringing another human being into this world. Too often I hear or know of girls who were not open with their parents about sex and so they didn't use birth control and ended up with a child at 15 because they couldn't bring themselves to abort the child. I'm entitled to a mature relationship as well as control over my reproductive health. Birth control has also been useful in regulating my periods. They are shorter and less painful, so I'm more productive. If I need to skip my period because it's inconvenient for that month, I can. Many women need it for even more severe conditions, along with the useful functions I just described. The fact that people think this shouldn't be covered when so many women make use of it and rely on it is ridiculous.

    Sam, CA

  • My mother's health was being seriously compromised by repeated pregnancies finally it was decided she would have her uterus removed. If she had had access to Birth Control she would not have had to risked major surgery.

    Kenneth, CA

  • Because I was able to have access to birth control I achieved a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master's degree in Nursing and became a women's Health Nurse Practitioner. I also served our country in the United States Air Force. I raised two amazing children who are now young successfully adults who were PLANNED and wanted.

    Betsy, AK

  • When I was a young woman, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS. It is an infertility disease, and at this time there is still no "cure." The treatment is hormonal, with birth control pills. Without this treatment, PCOS progresses, and causes a variety of symptoms that are not pleasant, and some can be disabling, including diabetes, hypothyroidism and kidney disease. Thankfully at the time there was no one telling me I couldn't have the treatment I needed because of religious reasons that have NOTHING to do with science. Birth control has changed women's destiny and health for the better. No longer barefoot and pregnant, and economically dependent on men, women are now being punished for their gains by those who want to send us all back to the Stone Age so they can continue to control women and their bodies for profit and pleasure.

    JM, CA

  • My grandmother, the mother of five daughters, called unwanted intercourse & pregnancies "slavery imposed on women by men." She was born in 1887 and was still alive in the early '60s when those little pink miracle pills made reliable birth control possible. She was horrified that more women did NOT take control of their reproductive lives. Now I am the mother of three daughters and two granddaughters. Four of us have suffered from ovarian cysts. The treatment?-oral contraceptives. Nearly 60% of women who take oral contraceptives are prescribed the drugs for reasons other than to prevent pregnancy.

    Kathleen, AZ

  • I was raped by my alcoholic abusive husband. He said he hoped I was pregnant so he could take the baby away from me and I'd never see it again. I lived in fear of getting pregnant before I could escape from a dreadful situation.

    Jenny, FL

  • Just want my daughters and daughters-in-law to have access to birth control should they need it. I am a Roman Catholic by the way.

    David, MI

  • Birth control is important to me personally because I am a 23 year old medical student that would be distraught if I became pregnant. Don't get me wrong, I love children and dream of the day that I can become a mother, but that time isn't now. That time isn't when I have $81,000 in medical school debt after just two years of medical school. That time isn't when I study for most hours of the day. That time isn't when I have no job and my only source of "income" is the overpayment checks I recieve for my financial aid. Birth control is important to be because I can't be a mother right now, but want to have the option in the future. Birth control gives me the option to retain a somewhat normal intimate life with my partner of 8 years, while still protecting my dreams of a future in medicine. That future would be extremely hard to obtain with an infant to care for. I have always found the notion strange that insurance companies would rather pay for you to have a baby than to provide coverage for birth control. I'm sure that the cost benefit ratio of providing contraception is cheaper for the insurance companies and the state than not providing contraception and paying for unwanted, unplanned, and impoverished infants.

    Katy, IL

  • I no longer use birth control because for medical reasons I have had to have a complete hysterectomy. However, before I resorted to this I tried to use chemical birth control to try reduce my estrogen levels to control my endometriosis. This is a disease that affects women in their child bearing years and can be very painful. In many cases, this is an effective treatment that preserves fertility and/or prevents the need for surgery.

    Jeanne, OR

  • In high school, before I was sexually active, I was prescribed the pill to minimize the debilitating menstrual cramps that would make me pass out with pain each month. Now, as a sexually active adult, I use birth control methods as a protection against pregnancy, sexually transmitted illnesses, and their outcome: what would amount to a radical, immediate, and presently unwelcome alteration of my current lifestyle should I become either pregnant or infected with an STI. I fully believe in the importance of managing my present and future -- I have done this by working hard to incrementally gain skills and progress in my chosen career and life. I do my best to minimize elements that would alter the work I have done without my expressly choosing the change. And so I see no reason why I should be denied a tool to help me in this endeavor when it comes to my uterus. And I certainly do not and will not condone anyone who attempts to tell me how I can or cannot protect my own body.

    Emma, NY

  • If there was a male oral contraceptive I would take it. As it is, my wife takes birth control pills and we are thankful that they are available and are made affordable. As struggling graduate students, we would not have been able to complete our studies without the pill. Other forms of birth control are less reliable and can detract from the quality of our regular lovemaking. Thanks to the pill and being able to plan our future family, I am now able to teach at a university and my wife is undertaking her PhD and working as a teaching assistant.

    Jeremy, AZ

  • If there was a male oral contraceptive I would take it. As it is, my wife takes birth control pills and we are thankful that they are available and are made affordable. As struggling graduate students, we would not have been able to complete our studies without the pill. Other forms of birth control are less reliable and can detract from the quality of our regular lovemaking. Thanks to the pill and being able to plan our future family, I am now able to teach at a university and my wife is undertaking her PhD and working as a teaching assistant.

    Jeremy, AZ

  • I am 35 years old and have been on birth control since i was 18. It was prescribed for medical reasons at that time but now I do not know what I would do without it. It provides me with choices and allows me to plan if and when I will bring children into this world. That is a very wonderful tool to have access to in a world where men control everything. My body, my choice!

    Rachel, NY

  • My husband and I struggled when we were younger, and if I hadn't been on birth control we would have lived in third world conditions with less money than we needed and more children than we could afford or care for. Birth control allowed us to plan our family when we were financially capable of caring for them properly. Don't push us back decades by taking away something fundamentally important to millions of women and families.

    Debbie, NC

  • Birth Control is important to me because it will help me to live a longer more productive life. Let me explain: I am a married woman with two children. A year after giving birth to my first child, I experienced a debilitating (I nearly lost the ability to walk) herniated disc in my neck. We didn't know what had caused it, but suspected it was from carrying our child both before and after her birth. It was 'corrected' as well as it could be with surgery and follow up tests showed all was well. A few years later, after the birth of my second child, the same exact thing happened. I am now experiencing daily pain from the second corrective surgery that fused a third vertebrae to the first two. I don't have full range of motion in my neck. If I were to get pregnant again, it would only get worse. My husband and I would like to continue to have marital relations. If birth control were unavailable to us, our relationship would be strained and our family would suffer.

    Laurie, OR

  • My wife uses birth control because it controls her hormones. Her hormones wildly fluctuate during her time causing her discomfort and other various symptoms. It deeply affects both of us, and displeases me to see her go through such discomfort. Not to mention I fear the long term effects on her health if not for it. Anymore children than the two we have could seriously jeopardize my wife's health for the long term.

    Joseph, OK

  • My sister has PMDD. She has critical and debilitating depression, and her doctor prescribed birth control to balance her hormones so that she can lead a productive life.

    Sandra, CA

  • I rely on birthcontrol to help keep my hormones in check. Before I went on the pill, I was suicidal every month.

    Arielle, CA

  • I already have two children. For both pregnancies, I was reliant on state medical for care and birth. I am 35 and do not want to have any more children. I am a single mom of two with two jobs still barely scraping by. Another child is a guaranteed life on state aid and in poverty.

    Rhiannon, WA

  • I have extremely irregular menstruation. I have used, birth control pills, and will probably use them again in future, to induce menstruation in order to prevent a buildup of uterine tissue that could become cancerous. I invite anyone to tell me to my face that this is not a health issue.

    Batya, NY

  • Me & my boyfriend have been together for 3 years. Over time you learn that the physical aspects of a relationship can be just as important as the emotional ones. Birth control is important to us because neither of us will be ready to raise a child for a long time. The financial burden would send us into poverty, as we already have a combined student loan debt over $50,000, and I still have 3 more years to go.

    Emma, MN

  • I used birth control hormonally. I wanted to have the choice to have children when I felt that I was ready and not just as an accident, or at the wrong time. I have 4 children and also had a stillborn child. I was told with my last pregnancy, after I lost my child, to not attempt to have any more children because I had so many health problems, toxemia, with my last one.

    Shelagh, MO

  • I have to use birth control for 2 medical reasons. First, I develop cysts in my breasts & on my ovaries without it. These are extremely painful!! I also just started a serious medication called Cellcept, and my doctor requires me to be on birth control in order to take it.

    Kim, KY

  • BC is so very important to me. Not only does it prevent unwanted pregnancies and/or abortion, but it also provides people like me, who have a medical condition, with the hormones necessary to have a functioning, normal, reproductive system. I have been diagnosed with 'Polycystic Ovary Syndrome'. When I'm not taking birth control for long periods of time, my menstrual cycle comes to a screeching halt b/c of various hormonal inbalances...taking it is absolutely necessary in keeping my reproductive system running and in good health.

    Tara, IL

  • I am a woman who is a scientific researcher. My field is heavily male dominated and that alone discourages many women from entering the sciences. In order for me to compete with men for a scientific career, birth control is essential. I must have control over when I have children in order for my career to be a solid one. For me to have an unplanned pregnancy would make me basically unemployable. There would be a huge risk to my unborn child because of the nature of the hands on research that I do. For a room full of men to debate my right to control my career by using birth control as a political football is beyond disgusting. Many anthropological studies have been done that show birth control is essential to women's societal equality. Women have made leaps and bounds since birth control has become widely available. But there are still descrepancies between men and women in pay, career opportunities, as well as general societal attitude toward women. Politicians have a reputation of being womanizers and they have no idea how women should be treated. They should not be the people deciding what rights women have.

    Lauren, VA

  • Because I have lived in countries where women aren't able to control their fertility. The results are the antithesis of 'pro-life'.

    Gwen, WA

  • I was a victim of endometriosis which ultimately resulted in a total hysterectomy in 1975. The ten years preceding the diagnosis and surgical intervention, I was treated with birth control pills in attempts to stabilize and minimize menstral bleeding. It was a significant medical option; one that no male politician can pretend to understand.

    SD, FL

  • My wife uses birth control because it controls her hormones. Her hormones wildly fluctuate during her time causing her discomfort and other various symptoms. It deeply affects both of us, and displeases me to see her go through such discomfort. Not to mention I fear the long term effects on her health if not for it. Anymore children than the two we have could seriously jeopardize my wife's health for the long term.

    Joseph, OK