By Marisella Rodriguez, Communications Intern
When NOW agreed to write about its support of no-cost prescription birth control for the “We’ve Got You Covered” blog carnival hosted by the National Women’s Law Center and Planned Parenthood, a group of interns quickly volunteered to write the post.
Eliminating co-pays on birth control is so important to all of us that we couldn’t decide how best to express our investment in the issue. So we decided to share our entire conversation to show that it’s something we actually talk about — because it’s more than just sex, it’s something that affects our health as young women.
Georgia – I would love to not have a co-pay! Once my mother said to me, “Sex is expensive,” and I couldn’t agree more. I would love to be able to spend my co-pay money on books for school. I also hate printing off those stupid coupons to save $15 off my NuvaRing. I could donate to NOW and Planned Parenthood for that amount every month!
Lisa – I don’t pay for my monthly birth control in New Jersey because I’m on the low-income insurance, but many women I know in Philadelphia and Chester, Pennsylvania, where I go to school don’t have access to birth control, let alone a way to pay for it.
Mari – That is totally different from where I am from, because I literally can have condoms thrown at me from the Planned Parenthood in my town. You can also get a prescription for birth control hassle-free for little to no co-pay.
G: In order to get my birth control I had to say that it helped my menstrual cramps, but I really just wanted to use it for sex.
L: Yeah, originally I also used it for sex, but because of my birth control, I haven’t been completely paralyzed by my menstrual cramps like I used to be.
M: I’m glad you guys are using it for responsible sex, but birth control is so much more than that, it is preventative care
G: I agree, birth control definitely can be for more than just having responsible sex.
L: Yeah, like the women I have worked with don’t have the resources for responsible sex. They are compromising their futures and their dreams and their goals because they do not have the same opportunities that we have in our communities. Women our age can’t even have this same conversation about how much their birth control has helped them because they can’t even afford it.
G: But if you think about it, birth control is a form of preventative care. Would you deny these same women access to, I don’t know, cancer screenings?
M: It kills me that it isn’t just common knowledge that access to birth control is a health care issue because it can help with so many other female health issues. Birth control can also help prevent ovarian cancer, cysts and a bunch of other serious health concerns.
L: It would be easier to do this if people found contraceptives that worked for them because not all birth control addresses individual’s concerns.
G: It should be up to you and your doctor to decide which birth control is best for you, whether it’s the patch, shots, ring, IUD, or the pill. Your insurance shouldn’t decide which preventative care you can afford to have.
M: The more expensive it is, the less likely people are to use it. Birth control and planned pregnancies ensure that both mom and child are happy and healthy.
Birth control is more than just a means of recreation; it’s a part of female health. It’s time that people realize that preventative care will encourage healthier moms and responsible teenagers. Birth control needs to be easily accessible both physically and financially.