Birth control: The universal struggle of women

Autumn Page, Contributor

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Birth control is something that sets off warning bells in people’s minds. In some cases, it’s something a woman needs for her well-being. 

Women’s rights have been scrutinized and attacked under Donald Trump’s presidency. Insurance companies are increasingly stricter on women when it comes to birth control. 

I’ve been on birth control since November 2017. No, I don’t need it to not get pregnant, I honestly wish that was the reason. I started out with birth control so my menstrual cycle would be shorter — one week instead of two, so my cramps wouldn’t be so painful, and so forth. Actual health reasons. 

Fast forward to today, I’ve been on five different birth control pills, and nothing has worked. Every single pill had extreme side effects: paralyzing dizziness, nausea, increased acne, migraines, bloating, bad mood swings, increased anxiety, body numbness and fatigue. All of these side effects have made me bounce between different pills per my doctor’s advisement.

This is where you say, “Maybe try a different doctor!” Trust me, I’m considering it. 

With my consistent switching pill brands, this has made my insurance not happy with me. I’m at the point now where I can’t get any pills for more than a month at a time. If you’ve ever been placed on something like an academic probation, that’s basically what my insurance company did to me. At one point, I thought they were going to take my ability to get birth control away, period.

Here’s the facts — most women and I can’t afford to have our insurance not cover birth control. According to Planned Parenthood, a single month of birth control pills alone can be anywhere from $0-50! Not only that, Planned Parenthood also says an appointment with a doctor or nurse to get the prescription can cost anywhere from $35-250! Without insurance, someone could be paying $600 A YEAR for birth control pills. 

Birth control pills are the cheapest form of birth control — the cost of any other form (e.g. the shot, implant, patch, etc.)  without insurance is VERY expensive.

Trump attempted at the end of 2018 to enact a set of “rules” that would allow anyone/ any company that provides health insurance to refuse to cover birth control. So, every woman who is employed somewhere that provides insurance is at risk. A likely scenario is that an employer could provide health insurance that doesn’t cover birth control. 

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. In 2017, Trump attempted to do the same exact thing. 

Under the Trump presidency, women’s health and reproductive rights have been constantly under fire. Even though some are covered in the 14th Amendment. This has caused protests around the United States — and waves on social media. 

For me, switching from pill to pill often makes me incredibly sad — for what’s to come, for what I’ll be putting my body through once again. I wish for a day where I don’t need birth control for my health, and instead as a precaution. 

Millions of other women and I go through this struggle. Women before us have fought for our rights, and we aren’t going to let that be for nothing.