I love all these answers and the brave, funny women behind them. But I think this one was my favorite.
It's such a personal decision but recent politics, like the controversial Hobby Lobby ruling, have made it a very public conversation where women often feel like we have to justify whether or not we use birth control and if so, what type we use. Now something as simple as self-care can feel like a battle.
I am always amazed at the number of comments I get and how many people have an opinion on what I do with my baby-making business. I enjoy other people's opinions and have learned a lot through the process, but some comments speak to a larger issue. It's like our choices about birth control are a reflection of some deeper facet of our selves. By being vocal about what we're choosing, we're forced to make some kind of statement about who we are, what we believe and what it says about us — something I don't think is quite fair. After all, no one ever asks men why they feel like they need condoms.
I've written a lot about my birth control choices and my struggle to find one that doesn't mess with my hormones too much (I learned the hard way that synthetic progesterone gives me anxiety attacks) but will still prevent me from getting pregnant (I have five kids and we are way done). I've tried many pills, both types of IUDs and Natural Family Planning in my quest, and I've learned a ton about myself and my body. Though I started very pro–birth control, I now understand why women also choose not to take it.
Many women have legitimate concerns about synthetic hormones, which can wreak havoc on delicate hormone balances, or about side effects like stroke or infertility. Many women have religious reasons for their choices. And what works for you can change in different stages of your life.
Having a kid is a lot (a lot) of responsibility. Women should think about what they want and plan for it with their partners... and I don't think we should have to justify that to anyone else.
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