The Fight for Birth Control

You never truly realize how trash this country's health care system is until it affects you. As someone who suffers from anxiety and allergies and other medical problems, I order medicine on a regular basis. While I'm comfortable talking about my mental health, I rarely disclose to friends information about my reproductive health. With that comes an even greater stigma, the stigma of menstruation and birth control. Unless it's a doctor's appointment or a political rally, people don't talk about their reproductive health. I understand this because reproductive health is not fun to discuss, but it is necessary. Hopefully, if we begin to talk about it more, everyone will realize how necessary it is for medicines like birth control to be accessible.

The main reason I take birth control pills is because of my painful menstrual cycle. Every month I experience the flu for a week unless I take medication for it. I'd never get out of bed if it wasn't for birth control pills. It's an assumption that women take birth control pills just for sex. However, that's not entirely true. Birth control aids with a number of health problems ranging from cramps to intense blood flow during your period and other ailments. It should be as easy as going to a drug store, such as Rite Aid, to pick up birth control. However, first you need a doctor's prescription and then the pills ordered. Even once this happens, the brand you try might not be the right one for you. It's like looking for the perfect pair of jeans. You have to try a couple brands of birth control until you find the right ones that match with your body. For example, I can't take birth control pills with increased estrogen because then I develop headaches and intense stomach pain. Once you find the brand that works for you, there are still more barriers to obtaining this medication.

I have to regularly call the pharmacy just to make sure they still have my medication on file and that they will refill it for me. The brand I take works for me, my doctor approves, and my insurance helps so it should be a straightforward process. Instead, every time I order the pills there's a problem. I even have my birth control pills set up for automatic refill at my local pharmacy, but that hardly helps. As a college student, it's ridiculous that I have to spend time calling and emailing a pharmacy instead of studying. This week I've easily spent two hours worrying and stressing about this. In the world of Amazon Prime and direct satisfaction, you'd think getting people the medicine they need should be a smooth and quick process.

It's gotten to the point that when I pick up my pills from the pharmacy, I get a three month's supply when I can. I'm trying to avoid the fight and the worry over birth control pills every month. There's no sign that this process will get easier anytime soon. With the recent abortion laws in this country, it's a wonder women have access to reproductive health care at all. For example, take the case of Georgia's new bill that is making it illegal for a woman to have a miscarriage. Yep, a miscarriage, not just an abortion. It's called the Heartbeat Bill and how it works is the fetus is named a dependent of the family, and if a miscarriage occurs, it is considered murder. I'm shocked by how little media coverage this controversial bill is receiving. It's set to be approved in January 2020 and no doubt it will make reproductive rights restrictive for anyone with a uterus. I am grateful that I have access to any medication, but at the same time, it should be a universal right! Everyone deserves to have medications that help them have a happy and healthy life.