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America needs to protect birth control

Graphic+by+Emma+McKhan
Graphic by Emma McKhan

Graphic by Emma McKhan

Graphic by Emma McKhan

Raina Bailey, Op-Ed Writer

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Birth control helps me- it allows me to take control of my life and my health when my parents wouldn’t take initiative, it allows me to discover my sexuality safely, it improved my quality of life by eliminating my very painful periods.” says an anonymous senior here at H-F.

Due to the stigma surrounding birth control, especially for young people, most people I tried to interview on their experience with it were hesitant to open up.

She was one in five women that visited a Planned Parenthood for services at least once in their lifetime. With these kind of numbers, it’s clear to see the enormous impact of the nonprofit organization.

However, this impact that it has has proven to be a point of concern and anger amongst many Americans. Many people, largely but not limited to conservatives, have expressed their distaste (or flat out hatred) for Planned Parenthood.

The main argument centers around abortion- being that Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of the service in the United States. What they fail to take into consideration are the other services that Planned Parenthood provides: birth control, mammograms, mental health counseling, sexual harassment counseling, hormone therapy etc. Every single one of these services are covered whether you have insurance or not.

As much as abortion is controversial, the facts shouldn’t be. The fact of the matter is that access to birth control is attributed to the decreasing rate of pregnancy. According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, “86 percent of the reduction of pregnancy among young women age 15-19 was due to contraception,”

      The Journal of Adolescent health also stated, “despite these substantial declines… abortion has not contributed to these declines.”

      Getting rid of Planned Parenthood doesn’t mean getting rid of abortions- it means getting rid of safe ones. Having affordable birth control has been linked to reductions in abortions and teenage pregnancy over and over again- and Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of it across the United States.

    The World Health Organization states that, “around seven million women are admitted to hospitals every year in developing countries, as a result of unsafe abortions,” These countries don’t have easy access to birth control and abortion; they are forced to take matters into their own hands.

    While I understand it goes against many people’s beliefs and morals- there’s more to it than simply abortion. Abstinence education has been shown to not have a great effect on young people, and laws and regulations prohibiting birth control and abortion only endanger lives.

    Education and accessibility are major keys in the prevention of unplanned pregnancy, STI’s, and all other issues involving sexual health.

    With the opening of the newest center here in Flossmoor, it’s clear to see that there’s an ever present need for organizations like it.

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America needs to protect birth control