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People Share the Positive Effects of Birth Control on Their Lives

Teen Vogue/Twitter

The Short of It

Has birth control helped you—like deciding when you're ready to have kids? Planned Parenthood's social media ad campaign points out the variety of positive effects the contraception has had on people's lives.

The Lowdown

Billboards have been erected in New York's Times Square by Planned Parenthood to raise awareness for the benefits of birth control. They encourage people to use the hashtag #BirthControlHelpedMe to share their own stories on social media.

The campaign aims to combat several threats to birth control access, including the recent Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Case and potential government health care policy changes that could prevent some women from getting reproductive health care.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, "there are 61 million U.S. women in their childbearing years (15–44). About 43 million of them (70 percent) are at risk of unintended pregnancy." The women most at risk and who are also most likely to not use a birth control method are 15- to 19-year-olds (18 percent).

And the Family Planning Advocates of New York State says:

  • One-third of the wage gains women have made since the 1960s are the result of access to oral contraceptives.
  • The number of women who complete four or more years of college is six times what it was before birth control became legal.
  • Birth control has been estimated to account for more than 30 percent increase of women in skilled careers from 1970 to 1990.
  • Birth control accounts for 86 percent of the recent decline in teenage pregnancy, which is at its lowest level in 40 years.
  • The number of unintended pregnancies and abortions would be nearly 2/3 higher than they are now if it wasn't for family planning.

And the reasons people use birth control are more widespread than just pregnancy prevention. Here's a sampling of what people are sharing.

The Upshot

Birth control isn't something people regularly talk about, and this campaign encourages people to discuss it openly and in a positive way. The tweets show how birth control can empower people to have families when the time is right and often to take charge of their health. For those of us moms who've used birth control to space out our pregnancies, or for those who have teenagers with whom they need to discuss safe sex with, this campaign hits home, showing that people deserve access to birth control if they want to use it.

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