Many moons ago, I was the girl who knew I wasn’t ready for a child. I was on birth control, but I wanted a more long-term method of contraception because I knew children weren’t going to be in the forecast for a long time (if ever).
People always say, “Just take birth control, just do this, just do that, blah de blah de blah.” I decided I wanted to get an IUD to have better control over my future.
My first doctor led me on for months.
I couldn’t get this IUD, I had to get another one, oh they don’t have it in right now, oh maybe next month? Oh we called your insurance, oh, you have to call the special pharmacy.
It was a nightmare. It was exhausting. I had insurance, I was doubly insured in fact. The pills I took as oral contraceptive were about $38/month, which, while not bank-breaking, was more than any partner of mine would ever have to pay for contraceptives.
I finally got my IUD by getting connected to the right insurance agent who pointed me to the right clinic. Two appointments, one to request, one for the procedure, and I was given birth control to cover me for five years, birth control I still have.
Despite how infuriating it was, despite the more than six month long battle to get one of the best, safest birth control options that exists, I’m still one of the lucky ones. My insurance covered it. I only paid two $25 dollar deductibles and one $10 Sonic tab for my chauffeur.
Why do I bring all this up?
I was lucky. I was fortunate; I have had an easy story. I have never been pregnant. I have never had a pregnancy scare. I had the time to make phone calls are demand to be seen and heard.
But what would have happened if I was even slightly less lucky? What if I was unable to find a ride to the appointment? What if I ran out of the pill, couldn’t get my new prescription, and my IUD didn’t come in? What if I had gotten pregnant, despite all the effort not to?
If I had gotten pregnant, I would have needed an abortion. I was not ready for a child. I didn’t have the resources, physically or emotionally to raise a child.
And what would my critics say:
“Why weren’t you on birth control?”
“You can’t run away from the consequences of your actions!”
“Why couldn’t you just close your legs?”
Abortion legislation is chipping away at my right to bodily autonomy. It is strangers deciding they know better for me than I know. It is people who will never suffer through the consequences of decisions they made for me.
I did all of this so I could have the same results as people who cannot get pregnant do. I wanted to only have to worry about STIs and broken hearts, not crying children I don’t have the time, money, or desire to raise.
I’ve never needed an abortion, but we all know people who have, even if we don’t know they’ve had one. They are common, some are sad, some are relieving, some create no feeling at all. But they are common. They aren’t evil or bad. They are healthcare.
We’re watching our rights be stripped away, and we cannot, must not do it silently.