Let’s get real for a sec: Birth control is NOT controversial. It’s basic health care that the vast majority of women will use over the course of their lifetime. And thanks to affordable access to birth control, more people have access to opportunities and can better plan their families, and economic equality is more within reach! The fact is, threatening affordable access to birth control helps no one. It’s bad for employees, bad for businesses, and just plain bad for the general public.
Here are four reasons why we should celebrate birth control and its badassery:
1. Birth control allows people to have sex without fear of pregnancy
Lots of people have sex, but does every person who has sex want to get pregnant? Short answer — no.
Thanks to increased access to birth control, the rate of unintended pregnancy is at a 30-year low and the rate of pregnancy among teenagers is at a historic low. The bottom line: When women plan their pregnancies, they are more likely to seek prenatal care — resulting in better health outcomes for them and their children.
2. Birth control can treat or manage medical conditions
You probably already know that people use birth control for a variety of reasons. In fact, 58% of all women who use the pill rely on it, at least in part, for something other than preventing pregnancy, including endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibroids, and menstrual regulation.
Blocking access to birth control disproportionately affects women of color. Black women are more than three times as likely as white women to have uterine fibroids and non-white Hispanic women experience more severe polycystic ovarian syndrome symptoms than women of other ethnic groups, so these women would be hit the hardest by attacks on access to birth control.
3. Birth control helps young people plan their future
Access to birth control lets young women decide if or when they want to start a family — setting them up for success in their careers and as parents, if that’s what they choose. In fact, being able to get the birth control pill before age 21 is one of the most influential factors enabling women already in college to stay in college — which has led to a significant increase in women who are college students.
4. Birth control advances economic opportunity for all
Birth control access has been a game changer for women to help build strong companies, a strong economy, and strong families:
Access to birth control lets women decide when they want to start a family — setting them up for success in their careers and as parents, if that’s what they choose.
Birth control has been attributed to playing a role in narrowing the gender pay gap — though women of color still earn much less than white women.
One-third of the wage gains women have made since the 1960s are the result of access to oral contraceptive pills.
Birth control has opened up educational and career opportunities for women in addition to opening the door for more management roles.
The Small Business Majority found that women small business owners overwhelmingly support coverage of birth control for their employees, and they cite birth control access as an important factor in their own ability to advance their careers.