Teenage girls are being denied access to birth control over the counter. On New Year’s Day, Oregon became the first state where women can buy birth control without a doctor’s prescription. “It’s a positive step that improves access for women”, Dr. Mark DeFrancesco, president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told CBS News “The pill has been around for about 55 years now. It’s very safe,” said DeFrancesco.
We are being told we are “too young” for birth control, while it’s a several use pill , not only does it prevent pregnancy, it balances hormonal acne and period cramps.“For girls who experience severe menstrual cramps and over-the-counter medications do not help, birth control pills may be the solution. Birth control pills prevent ovulation, they get rid of pain that your daughter may experience with ovulation in the middle of her menstrual cycle’’ says youngwomenshealth.org. This pill is made for adolescents. 40% of women suffer from cramps each month. Making it O.T.C. makes it easier to avoid the constant pain that puts 10% of females incapacitated from 1-3 days every cycle. Quartz published a story where a professor said period cramps can be almost as bad as having a heart attack. It would be more accurate, she wrote, to compare cramps to being in labor. But gynecologist Dr. Jen Gunter wrote recently that period cramps are often much more painful than heart attacks.
No uterus, no opinion. “I’m just bewildered that American politicians, stuffed with sanctimony and enveloped in self-righteousness, don’t adequately invest at home or abroad in birth-control programs that would save the government money, chip away at poverty, reduce abortions and empower young people.” The New york times stated. We agree.
Parents fear that birth control means a teen is now having unprotected sex, whether you are or aren’t is your business and your body. Medicaid spends an average of $12,770 for a birth. Yet we spend only $8 per teenage girl on programs to avoid pregnancy. In financial terms, that’s nuts. In human terms, it’s a tragedy. If your against birth control- don’t take it.
Taking the pill for a year results in long term health benifits, including protection from cancer of the uterus or ovaries. It’s not addictive (unlike cigarettes that are sold in vending machines). Taking too many pills might make you throw up, but it doesn’t cause a deadly overdose (unlike the acetaminophen that is on the shelves of every drug store). And so I will leave you with this; Written by a teenage girl, about teenage girls, and I wish I could say for teenage girls, because right now I’m trying to convince you that we should have that choice to make.