birth control

Recent posts

What Would You Choose: Making Rent or Having Sex?

I’ve been noticing a nasty strain of classism going around when it comes to discussions of sex, contraception, and reproduction. It goes something like this: if you can’t afford contraception, you shouldn’t be having sex, because you’d be an unfit parent due to your lack of money. Statements like this ignore the fact that money is not the only factor that determines whether you are a good parent (and in fact, there’s not really a good way to chart a correlation; rich people can be bad parents, poor people can be good parents, and vice versa and everything in between). Statements like this totally miss the fact – demonstrated by scientific research – that when given access to free birth control, impoverished women take advantage of it, and drastically reduce their number of unplanned pregnancies. Statements like this also miss the fact that having to pay for birth control can make a significant dent in your budget, especially if you are already working with a low income or you must shop around for a birth control option that works for you. Continue Reading →

Sex As A Universal Human Right

If you haven’t already perused the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it’s worth a look. You might be surprised at the things you find there… as well as the things you don’t find. See, I’m beginning to think that sex should be added to the list. It’s already somewhat implied, between the articles about everyone having the right to life, liberty, and the security of personhood and the ones about having the right to have a family and take part in the artistic, moral, and intellectual cultures that surround them. Continue Reading →

Six Things I Learned From Being a Birth Control Counselor

Like many sex educators I know, my very first sex ed gig was taking part in my undergrad university’s peer education program. Getting the training and the opportunity to deliver sex ed was a powerful experience for me and a real boost to my career as a sex educator (penis costume notwithstanding). One of the key responsibilities of being a peer educator was providing one-on-one sexual health counseling for students at the University’s health center – many of them young women wanting to start using birth control. Since the doctors and nurse practitioners at the health center had little time to spend with patients, my role was to educate the “clients” about their options beforehand. I had the time to ask questions about their lifestyle, sexual activities, preferences, and what would be convenient for them. Continue Reading →

Condoms, Anyone?

Earlier this week, I overheard a rather disappointing conversation as I was sitting in the waiting room of my gynecologist’s office. It went something like this: A young woman—I’d say, early twenties—enters the waiting room to discuss an issue she has with the secretary. The twenty-something is extremely upset because—due to changes in her health insurance—she’s no longer going to be able to receive the NuvaRing (for free, I assume?), and now has to switch to an alternate form of birth control that will now cost her upwards of $50 a month. As the secretary was trying to calm her down, she was mentioning cheaper forms of protection. And when she brought up condoms, the younger woman cut her off and said she’s looking for “protection that will actually work.”

Sigh. Continue Reading →

Advances In Women’s Health Politics (Plus Ninjas Against Rape)

If you have the time to read it, I highly highly highly recommend checking out Echo Zen’s Feministe post “How Women’s Health and Social Media Won 2012: Retrospective.” This link-rich essay describes the political events of 2012 in relation to women’s health, the amazing role of social media, and the rise of feminist advocacy by everyday women. Zen points out that what the social media strategies of 2012 exposed is “the violent rhetoric that once came from GOP quarters about how women’s healthcare isn’t real healthcare, since only sluts and prostitutes need contraception and family planning. If the extremists have learned anything from this cycle, it’s that openly campaigning against women’s lives is no longer a winning strategy, just as relying entirely on the white Christian vote is no longer a viable tactic.” This underlines how politicized an issue women’s health has become. Continue Reading →