Women Are Sharing the Incredible Ways Birth Control Has Helped Them


There's no doubt birth control has had a major hand in empowering women to take control of their bodies. But the nuances of this reality — the diverse ways this ability manifests in individual women's lives — is arguably much less visible. 

Planned Parenthood launched the hashtag #BirthControlHelpedMe Monday to make sure more people understood the impact of comprehensive and available birth control. Countless women are participating, sharing the many ways such access has informed and inarguably benefitted their lives.

Here are just a few ways birth control has uniquely empowered countless women, in their own words.

Birth control has allowed them to pursue professional and educational paths...

Helped treat health issues beyond reproduction...

Shaped their relationships and intimate experiences...

And, yes, allowed them to have children when they're absolutely ready.

These perspectives are especially crucial to recognize given legislators' constant attempts to curb women's reproductive abilities. Just last week, for example, House Republicans proposed a budget that would eliminate funding for a network of family planning providers, ThinkProgress reported. These cuts, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards told ThinkProgress, would prevent nearly 4.6 million people from receiving care including birth control, STI testing and treatment and even cancer screenings — and would especially affect the 20 million low-income women who rely on access to publicly funded contraception.

While family planning should be enough of a reason for women to have affordable, easy access to birth control, #BirthControlHelpedMe proves this issue is about something much more: Ultimately, it's about enabling women to live their lives on many basic levels. Countless women already know this. Hopefully more visibility given to this reality will prompt legislators to realize this too.