Millions of U.S. Women Use Birth Control For Non-Baby-Preventing Reasons

11/17/2011 12:30 PM |


According to a recent Guttmacher Institute study, 14% of women on the pill are on it for reasons other than keeping out babies. 58% of pill users rely on the pill for both pregnancy prevention and the beneficial side effects. Birth control pills can help with acne, painful periods, the symptoms of PCOS, preventing migraines, and endometriosis.

Though I give this a suspicious glance:

Menstrual-related disorders and irregular periods are particularly common during adolescence. Not surprisingly, the study found that teens aged 15—19 who use the pill are more likely to do so for non-contraceptive purposes (82%) than for birth control (67%). Moreover, 33% of teen pill users report using oral contraceptive pills solely for noncontraceptive purposes.

because I think we all know those girls from high school who convince their parents they have to go on the pill “for their skin,” the point is that hormonal birth control has important therapeutic applications in addition to preventing pregnancy. That is what makes anti-choice zealots like the Mississippi personhood amendment people all the more terrifying. If the measure passed, it would have banned birth control pills and most forms of hormonal contraception, leaving Mississippians who don’t want to conceive the choice of condoms or vasectomy. It also would’ve outlawed IVF.

Fucked up as it is that these folks want to take away a woman’s right to control her fertility, that’s not really all that surprising—caring more about unborn humans than alive humans is kind of these guys’ thing. But basically saying fuck you to 1.5 million people using medicine their doctors prescribed for them because a side effect of the medicine offends their religious beliefs is ridiculous.