How is it that in 2017, we have total control over what our bodies look like but not what our bodies do?
Oh right. Because the majority of our elected officials are men, and so are the majority of our religious leaders.
Year after year, men in power lead a fight to make accessing birth control an uphill battle. Giving women control over their bodies is fundamental to us having control over our futures, and that seems to be a scary thing for the men in power. The most recent battle in this fight is happening now - this month - during open enrollment season.
The Trump administration will now allow any employer to claim religious or moral objection to providing birth control to its employees. The move rolls back an Obama-era requirement that employers provide FDA-approved contraception at no cost. So now is the perfect time to remind employers of the benefits you need.
Check out FightForBirthControl.org for an employee toolkit filled with updates on current U.S. health care policies and tips to ensure you’re keeping your birth control coverage. You can also urge your employer to publicly commit to providing employees with birth control using #BusinessForBC.
Of course, it's worth noting that birth control allows men and women to have sex before they're ready to be parents. But there are health benefits beyond that: Birth control also alleviates menstrual pain for 31% of women, according to the Guttmacher Institute. It regulates the periods of 28% of women, and helps 14% of women control their acne. It also helps with symptoms of endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome. It even decreases abortion rates by 78%.
Birth control is basic health care women need to show up to work and take care of their families.
Elisa Kreisinger is the host of the podcast Strong Opinions Loosely Held. All opinions here are her own.