Let’s Talk About Birth Control….Please

And while we’re at it let’s also talk about pregnancy termination. I’d like to address a few myths that are being tossed about in the webbernets by people who generally do not understand:

a) birth control methods and how they work
b) women’s bodies
c) US HR policies

birth-control-pills

 

Quote:  “Why are women depending on their employer to pay for THEIR birth control?”
Answer:  They aren’t. When a person gets a job with a company they accept it contingent on their compensation package. Pay is a factor, paid leave is a factor, and paid insurance is a factor as are some other benefits. The benefits are something that are a part of their compensation. Some companies pay more in cash salary and less in insurance. Some give bigger compensation benefits and less in cash benefits. Each person decides whether they want a job depending on how the benefits will fit into their lifestyle. In my family insurance coverage is a huge factor. We would never accept a job without exceptional insurance coverage. If it is lacking in any area it is a no go for us. We may even accept a lower pay than we wanted for better insurance package. The company is not “giving” it to us. They offered it as part of the pay or compensation. It isn’t a gift. It is well earned.

Quote:  Anyone can simply BUY birth control at their neighborhood corner store. Why does anyone else have to pay for it?”
Answer:  Condoms have an 18% failure rate. EIGHTEEN PERCENT! I wouldn’t want to take that risk, as a rational thinking, informed woman or man in this day and age.

Quote:  “Birth control pills and IUDs are abortives.”
Answer:  Wrong. IUD’s work like this: ~Copper IUDs may prevent sperm from being able to go into the egg by immobilizing the sperm on the way to the fallopian tubes. If the sperm doesn’t permeate the egg there is no conception. ~With hormonal IUDs, a small amount of progestin, a hormone similar to the natural hormone progesterone, is released into the uterine lining. This hormone thickens cervical mucus and make it difficult for sperm to enter the cervix. If the sperm cannot enter the cervix it cannot permeate the egg, thereby preventing conception. Birth Control Pills, Patches, Injections and slow release systems work like this: ~They prevent ovulation. If there is no egg there can be no conception. They also help regulate menstrual periods in women whose periods have stopped because of trauma or those whose periods are far too long or heavy. They help with endometriosis and fibroids. And some types are helpful with ovarian cysts, thereby preventing surgery. These are also used in treatment of endometrial cancer, perimenopause and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Ella & Plan B works like this: PREVENTS ovulation & conception. They do not cause abortion. Without ovulation there is no egg to be permeated by the sperm, thereby no conception can occur.

 RU486 or Mifeprex or Mifepristone/Misoprostol works like this:

This drug is a true abortifacient. It causes a termination of pregnancy after taking it because it is a progesterone receptor antagonist which means it interferes with a body’s ability to make progesterone. Progesterone is needed to sustain a pregnancy.

But did you also know that RU486/Mifepristone (AKA the Medicinal Abortion or Morning After Pill) is also used in life saving treatments such as?:

Treatment of :
gastric ulcers

cervical ripening in labor
labor inducing for full term pregnancies
managing post postpartum hemorrhage
managing unintended early pregnancy loss
fibroid uterine tumor treatment
treatment of HIV infection
leiomyoma treatment
treatment for major depression with psychosis
treating bi-polar depression and disorders causing cognitive disfunction
treatment for post tramatic stress disorder
ovarian cancer treatment
glaucoma treatment
prostate cancer treatment

endometriosis treatment
advanced breast cancer treatment
meningioma (brain tumor) treatment  

Menigioma (brain tumor) treatment is especially important to me as I have connected with many women over the years who have survived their meningiomas ONLY because of this medication. I am lucky. So far I do not need it for my brain tumor. But maybe one day I will. And if that day comes I want to make sure this drug is still available in my state. 

Quote:  “I am enjoying watching women’s heads explode over this Hobby Lobby SCOTUS ruling.” Answer:   Are you? Are you really? If this is you you should read your statement over and think about that for a minute. Women in this country have fought very hard for the right to vote. And for the right to own property, for the right to use birth control, for the right to terminate a pregnancy if she has to and for the right for equal pay. Yes, we’re upset. Women’s health care rights are diappearing before our eyes in the year 2014, not 1914. This makes me angry. It motivates me to activism, to call and write letters to my congressman. It motivates me to let certain retail stores I will not be shopping at their stores anymore. It motivates me to give to campaigns & causes. It motivates me to join a movement with other women voters to make sure we are well heard by Washington, corporate interests and the media.

Do you know that it was 1972 before women could make their own birth control choices without the consent of anyone else? Seriously, Nineteen-Seventy-Fricken-Two. I was 12 years old then. Even at twelve years old I was shocked. Who was anyone else to tell my mother how to take care of her body? I was outraged. Still am, I suppose. Obviously. And do you know that if a rape victim becomes pregnant as a result of her rape she is required to SHARE custody with her attacker in 35 states in our nation? Yes. Thirty Five states. Here are the stats. There are 32, 101 pregnancies that result from rape each year. Oh, did we think it hardly ever happened? Think again.

Imagine being horribly traumatized, beaten, bleeding, suffering from PTSD and then told you are pregnant, but if you have this baby you may have to GIVE . THIS . INNOCENT . CHILD to your attacker every other weekend for the rest of her 18 years. And you will have face to face contact with this monster forever…..alone…while exchanging the child. Now think about THAT for a minute. Who could blame a young woman or girl faced with this situation, who chooses to take a pill ensuring she does not ovulate over the next week, over a lifetime of potential attacks and trauma? Not me. I would not make that choice for her. That would be her choice between her, her mental health caretaker and her doctor. What ever choice she makes I will say one thing to her. I am so so sorry this happened to you. How can I help you? That’s it.

 But there’s a fix for this scenario, you know. Birth control. Yes, birth control. Birth control that may be a part of an employee compensation package (yes that). If it’s not there is always Planned Parenthood who provides birth control pills, condoms, IUDs and RU486 for free to those who cannot afford them. If she has endometriosis or fibroids or breast cancer, PTSD from her rape or a brain tumor, yes, she can have birth control as treatment for those, too.

Anyone who thinks this is a funny subject or that finds it amusing that women should not have equal rights to choose their own birth control or health care choices has a serious problem. And they have not thought through the ramifications of what happens to the children who are borne to rape victims and their attackers. They do not understand the cycles of poverty and how it promotes domestic violence, crime and victimhood. And they certainly do not understand how easily this could all be prevented. 

Is this still funny?

To me this is not just politics. This is not simply activism. This is very personal. Through suicide prevention, crisis counseling and prison volunteer work I have counseled many women who have lived through all of these scenarios listed. I have attended the tragic, sad and mournful termination of a late pregnancy of sweet twins who were dearly wanted and sadly grieved. In my teen years I have held my breath while waiting with my friend to get her period every month because her step-father was raping her night after night, but would not allow her birth control. Yes, that happened. Who knew? Me and her. Was there birth control available to help her then? Yes, but you needed a parent to consent. How about that irony? Until you understand the complex scenarios of how difficult these horrible choices can happen you should really think about it. Think hard. Way outside the box you have lived in. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Someone desperate, victimized, someone with limited choices and limited income.  

And think about why this is amusing to you.

Because if it still is you have much bigger problems than not understanding birth control.

 

 

 

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