Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner

    Got 5 For Birth Control?

    Posted March 1st, 2012 by

    What year is it!?  The growing drumbeat of attacks on full coverage for crucial contraceptive health care for women continues despite the fact that 99% of women in our nation have used birth control at some point in their lives. [1]  

    First, an all male panel of ”expert” witnesses on birth control testified before Congress.[2]  Then a major backer for presidential candidate Rick Santorum tried to make a joke of the entire issue by saying, “Back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.”[3] And then this week, we fought against an amendment introduced by U.S. Senator Roy Blunt aimed at further limiting birth control access.[4]  (Thankfully, the powerful voices of MomsRising members and others were heard, and the Blunt amendment was just defeated by a narrow 51-48 voting margin hours ago).

    Unfortunately, while the Blunt amendment defeat was a narrow victory, the attacks on full coverage for crucial contraceptive health care for women continue.

    This has got to stop.

    And MomsRising is stepping up to the plate to push back on these attacks.

    *Can you pitch in $5 now? https://action.momsrising.org/donate/BirthControlAttacks/

    With your help, MomsRising will work to make sure that women and mothers’ voices are included in ALL conversations about birth control by sending letters to Congress, speaking out in the media, bringing your stories forward with leaders, and launching a campaign to make sure that everyone who needs birth control can get it.

    Birth control matters to moms and to our nation.  Reliable birth control that permits women to responsibly control how many children to have, and when to have them, has been nothing short of a miracle — not just for women and mothers, but for our country as a whole. It’s improved the health of women and their families, as well as given women and mothers increased access to economic and political opportunities unlike any other time in history.

    Make no mistake, this current backlash against full coverage for contraceptive health care is really a backlash against the increasing empowerment of women — and against mothers, in particular.

    Mothers care deeply about their children, and we hear from members each day about how they’re fighting for their children with their hearts and souls. Part of that fight is making sure we all have access to birth control: Giving parents control over planning their families allows them, in turn, to give their children the best futures possible.

    Moms like, Martha, who shared, ”I am glad that I could chose how old I would be when I gave birth to my children. Now my three daughters are old enough to give birth. I want them to have the same freedom to choose when they will start a family — if they want to raise a family. A women’s right to control when she gives birth should be as basic a right as freedom of speech, or freedom of religion.”

    *Can you lend a hand to help stop the attacks on universal access to birth control by donating $5 now?  https://action.momsrising.org/donate/BirthControlAttacks/

    The economic security and health of mothers and families across our nation is dependent on the ability of mothers’ to control how many children to have and when to have them. Frankly, just providing the basics for one child requires a lot of money. For example, just a year of childcare costs more than college in many states! [5]

    In fact, in 2010 it cost $226,920 on average for a middle-income, two-parent family to raise one child from birth to age 18. [6]  That’s not including college.

    To be sure, mothers and parents are working hard in the face of heavy economic obstacles. Now, in order to make ends meet, most modern families need two parents in the labor force and three-quarters of moms are now in the labor force.

    But even with parents working hard, many families are struggling. Recent U.S. Census data showed that nearly one in six American women are living in poverty and 22% of children are living in poverty. [7] Imagine what the poverty rate would be if mothers couldn’t control the number of children they were having.

    Women need access to birth control, not only to control how many children they have, but also for their overall health.  At MomsRising we regularly hear stories from women like, Uma, who shared: “I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycsytic Ovarian Syndrome) as a teenager and was prescribed birth control pills at that age to regulate my period and to prevent me from developing ovarian cancer. I rarely had coverage for birth control pills and at times it was a financial hardship and I would go without the pills in order to pay for other necessities. There are millions of women diagnosed with the same disorder, which requires birth control pills to regulate their periods and prevent cancer. It is a moral issue for me–the morality of providing essential healthcare to millions of women in this country. So much of the time, men’s healthcare is given a priority while women are asked to sacrifice their health to care for others. It is time that the politicians do the moral and ethical thing and provide free access to birth control for women, whether for health reasons or contraception. It is our right.”

    Yet right now, even as families are struggling, politicians are making news by playing unfair games with birth control. Let’s be clear: The well-being and economic security of women, mothers, children, and families should never be used as a political football.

    This madness has got to stop.

    *Please consider taking a moment to donate $5 for the MomsRising campaign to stop these attacks: https://action.momsrising.org/donate/BirthControlAttacks/

    Increased access to birth control is an important part of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (health care reform). Now is not the time to turn back the clock.

    Women’s voices must be heard!

    Together, we are a powerful force for women and families.

    1. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html
    2. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/rep-darrell-issa-bars-minority-witness-a-woman-on-contraception-2/
    3. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/02/16/foster-freisss-prescription-for-birth-control-debate-an-aspirin-tablet/
    4. Full text of the Blunt Amendment and here
    5. NACCRRA report: Executive Summary, Parents and the High Cost of Child Care 2011
    6. http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/21/pf/cost_raising_child/index.htm
    7. http://www.nwlc.org/analysis-new-2010-census-poverty-data-%E2%80%93-september-2011?ak_proof=1

     

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    8 Comments

    March 7, 2012 at 5:14 am by Robin Witt

    I fully support reproductive choice and all the hard work that MomsRising staff and members do to stand up for women’s rights, and allow our voices to be heard. It is a resounding fact that women want/need access to birth control regardless of their socio-economic status. It is elitist to allow only those of economic privilege should be able to choose birth control for themselves. Regarding pushing an agenda? I think that Myself and many others would feel much more comfortable if people were not pushing their religious and political agendas up our vaginas. It should be no one Else’s choice but our own. Reproduction is a part of being a woman. Having the ability to choose what we want for our lives and bodies regarding reproduction should be a basic, inalienable right. What really gets me in this national debate is that there is no scrutiny over Viagra being covered. Let’s get an all women panel of “experts” to decide why it’s necessary for any man with high blood pressure to have access to a 2 hour boner.

    [Reply]

    March 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm by Kim

    I got a ridiculous email from your organization about this issue. So I am posting a reply here.

    The “crucial contraceptive health care” is being requested from religious organizations who are against it as a part of their religious beliefs. I am not a catholic, but it is an affront to the freedom of religion of catholics to require it. Real religion is not a buffet where you pick and choose what commandment you feel like obeying. Those families should join another religion if they don’t agree with it.

    Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer, not a news media outlet. How have you missed that? And clearly he’s making his point by taking it to an extreme and silly conclusion–for entertainment.

    When you start trying to censure other show business entertainers for their comments you can put me back on your mailing list.

    In your email you say:

    Calling someone a “slut” and a “prostitute” just because they are pro-birth control is most definitely NOT okay.

    Then you said Limbaugh said Fluke was a prostitute because she wants US TO PAY HER to have sex without getting pregant by paying for her birth-control. Not because she is pro-birth control. You contradict yourself and spin the story in the very same email. Wow.

    Don’t try to make this a women’s health issue. It isn’t. It’s your agenda.

    [Reply]

    March 3, 2012 at 10:16 am by Kelli

    I agree with the ladies above! Couldn’t have said it better myself! No one should have to do something that goes against their conscience first. Second, birth control is awful for our bodies , how unnatural is it ingesting a chemical that has so many harmful side effects including infertility and trouble getting pregnant and staying pregnant. Is that what we want to teach our daughters? We just pop a pill and it will take care of everything? NFP is just as effective and forces us to learn about our bodies and teaches us and our partners to abstain and have self control and to respect how beautiful the female body is :) To the lady who wrote the original post. The figure 99 percent is wrong . It’s more like 82 percent which is a huge difference when comparing the entire population. A lot of things were not considered when the original 99 percent was configured. Lastly, you should do some research on Margaret Sanger and what her vision was. She opened the first Planned Parenthood (which was called something else at the time) she basically had some of the same views as Hitler.

    [Reply]

    March 1, 2012 at 10:25 pm by momof3

    Here is a touching quote from a woman, whose life-sized portrait was proudly portrayed in the entryway of one of the buildings on my college campus:
    ‎”The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race (Eugenics Publ. Co., 1920, 1923)

    Wow!

    As far as hormonal contraceptive use being applied for menstrual pain, excessive cramping. PCOS, etc…. there are now many great holistic/homeopathic remedies available. And none of them will give you an increased risk of stroke and blood clots like the hormonal contraceptives will.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    @momof3, Oops! Momof3 spilled the beans! It is true that Margaret Sanger has played a very significant role in the women’s movement and that she was a white racist. I don’t think MomsRising.Org shares the same racial perspective of Margaret Sanger, but their elitist, self-entitled soapbox from which they express “women’s issues” share the same spirit. If they ever win the minds of women and a nation to accept that women are always the victim in need of the advocacy of MomsRising.Org,

    [Reply]

    Anita Reply:

    MomsRising is a diverse organization whose members drive the action. Far from being victims, the stories we read from members reveal them to be strong and loving moms, dads, daughters and sons passionately working for family economic security and family-friendly policies in the US.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    @Anita, Your all a bunch of elitist that like to right the wrongs of this world with your fascist, know-it-all solutions. I haven’t once read an article where MomsRising.org isn’t trying to persuade the government to change the thinking or attitudes of the public. Sure you can get any power hungry politician to trade votes for laws that strip our freedoms and enforce your perspectives on us all. However, it doesn’t work well when you find yourself on the other end and that is what may happen after the next election. Let’s find solutions that stem for dialogue and not through politicians that enact law that is only enforced through the end of a gun.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:17 pm by Momof3

    As a huge advocate for women’s rights, I am against being forced or having insurance being forced to cover contraceptives. First of all, why is all of the responsibility placed on women’s shoulders? Also, a woman’s rights end when a new human’s life begins. Look it up, hormonal contraceptives can and do cause abortions by making the uterus lining too thin to support an embryo attachment as opposed to preventing ovulation many times.
    Hormonal contraceptives were conceived to limit the population of non-elite offspring. It also is used as a way to drastically reduce the African-American population as is abortion. It’s original intent was to eventually rid society of “undesirables”. Margaret Sanger wasn’t fighting for women’s rights, but was really a white supremacist with ulterior motives. Wow! Not exactly the warm and fuzzy “I’m a woman, hear me roar” fable they tell women and girls in almost every public school, college campuses, and clinics almost everywhere.

    Natural Family Planning or Ovulation Awareness is free and 98% effective. No fetuses die and men are taught to honor and respect the body of a women and that she is not constantly available to him unless children are to be conceived. This aids in putting human sexuality in it’s proper context: that women aren’t just a tool to be used to gain pleasure, but that women are human beings deserving love and respect. All it takes is applying the principles of NFP and about 1 week of abstinence out of the month. Otherwise expect children and taking on the responsibility of raising a family.

    [Reply]

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