Pain Relief, Period Survival and Pregnancy: How #BirthControlHelpedMe

Cristen Conger

In her critique of the Roe v. Wade decision, Supreme Court Justice (and Stuff Mom Never Told You patron saint) Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote how reproductive rights inform "a woman's autonomous charge of her full life's course...[and] her ability to stand in relation to man, society and the state as an independent, self-sustaining, equal citizen."

Yet for something with such nuanced impact, birth control is often overly simplified -- and politicized -- as something women and trans men take in order to have sex and not worry about getting pregnant. That's why Planned Parenthood's Twitter campaign #BirthControlHelpMe perfectly underscores how contraception means far more than more sex and less abortion. Hormonal regulation via birth control provides bodily autonomy that has, as Notorious RBG wrote, put women in charge of their full life's course... have healthier pregnancies:

#BirthControlHelpedMe control the cysts that would grow and rupture on my ovaries so that I could have the baby growing in me right now. - Lisa Oestreicher (@oddbit) June 23, 2015 physically recover from eating disorders:

#BirthControlHelpedMe jump-start my period after my eating disorder took it away for 2+ years. It's the reason I can now have kids. - Sarah Kettles (@sfkettles) June 23, 2015 complete grad school:

#BirthControlHelpedMe plan the size of my family, allowing me to finish graduate school and take care of the child I already chose to have. - Amanda Morse (@AmandaDylina) June 22, 2015 clear up acne:

#BirthControlHelpedMe have a healthy, loving relationship with my boyfriend, clear my acne, and feel in control of my body! - Molly Johnson (@mollykjo) June 22, 2015 make the grade:

#BirthControlHelpedMe realize how lucky men are to never have to think about pregnancy or periods. So much more mental energy for academics! - Hannah Malcolm (@Tudor109) June 22, 2015 stay productive:

#BirthControlHelpedMe regulate my cycle, reduce cramps, and not lose 1-2 days per month. - Jessica Sturm (@wmugirl99) June 22, 2015 become President of Planned Parenthood:

#birthcontrolhelpedme graduate from college, and become an organizer! - Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) June 22, 2015 relieve pain:

#BirthControlHelpedMe be able to actually move & get out of bed! BC helped my debilitating cramps & made them easier to manage - bee queen (@chloejoy16) June 22, 2015 become a mother:

#BirthControlHelpedMe Have my daughter when I was ready too - after college, employment, marriage. She is now my priority without compromise - Laura Tamberelli (@latamberelli) June 22, 2015 attend school:

My period was overwhelming as a teen - pain, exhaustion, etc. #BirthControlHelpedMe ease the pain so I didn't have to miss class. - Ponta (@typicalfeminist) June 22, 2015 soothe migraines:

#BirthControlHelpedMe keep my estrogen levels high so I would be less likely to get a migraine (low estrogen is one of my migraine triggers) - christina seaver (@cfseav_) June 21, 2015 become a podcaster:

#BirthControlHelpedMe become the ladyboss of my own life. /Cristen — Cristen and Caroline (@MomStuffPodcast) June 22, 2015

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