Almost every single American woman—99 percent of us, no matter our political or religious leaning—will rely on birth control at some point over our lives. Most of us will use it for an average of 30 years. That's a relationship that lasts longer than many marriages—much less your relationship with your job, apartment, city, or that cute car you just put a downpayment on.
Whether your pick is the pill, an IUD, condoms, or any mix of the 14 methods available to women today, these are our ride-or-die companions for most of our child-bearing years. And our contraceptive choices impact our lives in ways we might not even think about, like helping us move forward in our careers. Without birth control, how could any of us plan our lives, our next steps, make a five-year plan?
So in a world where contraception is necessary not only for family-planning but for life-planning, why are we still fighting for it? Why do we still have to convince (mostly white male) lawmakers to give us access? All forms of contraception are covered under Obamacare, but for many people, it's still a long fight to work the system. And this year, Congress has been on the warpath to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides birth control counseling to millions of women.
A post shared by Marie Claire (@marieclairemag)
A photo posted by on
But Congress's views don't reflect those of the country. A new survey by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that an overwhelming majority of U.S. adults from all political parties want women to have better access. Eighty-six percent of adults, including 91 percent of Democrats and 83 percent of Republicans, "support policies that make it easier for those 18 and older to get the full range of birth control methods," the Campaign found. A huge majority—71 percent—say the same thing about teens' access to birth control. And 78 percent say that more people would use birth control if it was easier to access. In a country where 50 percent of pregnancies among women in their 20s and older are unplanned, these are numbers to pay close attention to.
Women want it, Americans want it—but our lawmakers are holding us back. And it's insane that we're still fighting for these rights in 2015.
So today, on #ThxBirthControl day, tweet why you're thankful for your birth control and how it's helped you. Use the hashtag #ThxBirthControl and tag @marieclaire and @bedsider. Then write your representatives and tell them how you feel about protecting your reproductive rights—including protecting your access to contraception.
Follow Marie Claire on Instagram for the latest celeb news, pretty pics, funny stuff, and an insider POV.
My Bags Are Packed to Go OOO—These Are the Pieces I’m Bringing to Italy
“Sing to me, Paolo.”
By Humaa Hussain
I Spoke to a Jewelry Expert—Here's How to Make Your Silvery Jewelry Look Like New in Four Steps
Five minutes is all you need to bring the sparkle back to your favorite piece.
By Brooke Knappenberger
Princess Kate Looked "Furious" With Prince William on Rare Occasion She Couldn't Mask "Negative Emotions," Body Language Expert Says
But it was all sorted out soon enough.
By Iris Goldsztajn
Senator Klobuchar: "Early Detection Saves Lives. It Saved Mine"
Senator and breast cancer survivor Amy Klobuchar is encouraging women not to put off preventative care any longer.
By Senator Amy Klobuchar
How Being a Plus-Size Nude Model Made Me Finally Love My Body
I'm plus size, but after I decided to pose nude for photos, I suddenly felt more body positive.
By Kelly Burch
I'm an Egg Donor. Why Was It So Difficult for Me to Tell People That?
Much like abortion, surrogacy, and IVF, becoming an egg donor was a reproductive choice that felt unfit for society’s standards of womanhood.
By Lauryn Chamberlain
The 20 Best Probiotics to Keep Your Gut in Check
Gut health = wealth.
By Julia Marzovilla
Simone Biles Is Out of the Team Final at the Tokyo Olympics
She withdrew from the event due to a medical issue, according to USA Gymnastics.
By Rachel Epstein
The Truth About Thigh Gaps
We're going to need you to stop right there.
By Kenny Thapoung
3 Women On What It’s Like Living With An “Invisible” Condition
Despite having no outward signs, they can be brutal on the body and the mind. Here’s how each woman deals with having illnesses others often don’t understand.
By Emily Shiffer
The High Price of Living With Chronic Pain
Three women open up about how their conditions impact their bodies—and their wallets.
By Alice Oglethorpe