If you're a Marie Claire reader, you know how hardcore I am about safe sex and contraception. In our September issue, I wrote a story called "Am I the Last Woman Using Condoms?," about the surprising lack of safe sex among women in their 30s. (Fun side note: after that story, Trojan sent me multiple boxes of condoms, some of which I took home—thanks, Trojan!—and some of which I stashed in my desk, making me feel like the school nurse here in the office. You need 'em, I got 'em.)
That's why I'm so excited about a new public awareness campaign the fabulous people at The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy have cooked up. Today, November 12, they're asking everyone to say #ThxBirthControl—to tell us on Twitter and Facebook and other social media channels how birth control has changed your life. After all, 99% of women have used birth control at some point. Without it, we couldn't thoughtfully be in control of our own lives; we couldn't plan our educations, our careers, our families. We wouldn't be able to travel the world, to go after our dreams, to make serious and educated choices and decisions. Yet contraception is still a controversial topic in cultural and political debates; it's still something we don't talk about openly and honestly, and it's still something that men and women don't use regularly. Nine out of 10 single women and men ages 18-29 say they don't want a pregnancy right now—but 40% of them don't use contraception consistently, says the National Campaign. And more than half of sexually active women ages 18-22 say they would be more likely to use birth control if more people talked about it in a positive way.
You have the power to change that—starting today. Tweet @bedsider and @marieclaire using the hashtag #thxbirthcontrol, or tell us in the comments below: What has birth control done for you? How might your life be different without it?