Happy Back Up Your Birth Control day of action!! Today marks the 10th anniversary of the campaign, which aims to raise awareness of and expand access to Emergency Contraception (EC).
Before I began expounding on why you should back up your birth control, let me first address a couple of misconceptions about EC. First and foremost, THIS IS NOT THE ABORTION PILL. EC does not interfere with established pregnancies. Rather, it helps prevent pregnancy if taken up to 120 hours after birth control failure or unprotected sex (the sooner the better, of course).
Second, it is not dangerous or harmful to your health. As Planned Parenthood explains,
Emergency contraception is safe. Even though it’s made of the same hormone as the birth control pill, the morning-after pill does not have the same risks as taking the pill or other hormonal birth control methods continuously. That’s because the hormone in the morning-after pill is not in your body as long as it is with ongoing birth control.
Millions of women have used emergency contraception. It has been used for more than 30 years. There have been no reports of serious complications.
So, why back up your birth control with EC? Simply put, because accidents happen. You can be responsible and use a condom and suddenly find yourself on the receiving end of a “holy shit, the condom broke!” moment. Which, trust me, is no fun. It’s my personal version of hell.
And you know what? Even if you choose not to use birth control and engage in unprotected sex, it’s still your right to obtain EC. (Although there are plenty of folks out there who would love to judge and accordingly dispense EC only to “responsible” women whose birth control failed — or not at all, for that matter.)
And lest we not forget, rape also happens. Unwanted, unprotected sex happens every single day and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of EC than a rape victim.
The bottom line here is that you can’t control your destiny without control over your fertility. I firmly believe that the ability to choose if and when to become a parent is one of the most determining factors in one’s future success. So back up your birth control, ladies! EC is a friend, not a foe :)