My Body, My Choice: The Different Uses and Power of “Birth Control”

Everything in the world has a name. Names are what make this, that and us, well us! Without names, we would not know what to call anything. 

On Wednesday, July 8, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the religious rights of employers to deny employees  birth control coverage. 

Traditionally,  birth control is used to minimize the risk of an unwanted pregnancy. However, what most people do not realize is that not everyone uses birth control to prevent pregnancy. The name of the contraceptive gives the world the preconceived notion that it solely “controls birth” or “birth control(s).”

When I was a sophomore in high school, I had terrible acne (top left photo). I was prescribed Minocycline, an antibiotic which would essentially take the bacteria out of my skin and remove my acne. After being on this pill for a solid two years, I barely saw any improvement with the condition of my skin. 

Photo Courtesy of: Shana Lichaw

I felt as thought my acne was the first thing people saw when they looked at me. I mean HELLO, it is right on your face! I felt as though I was the most insecure version of myself due to my acne.. 

As my highschool graduation approached, my skin slowly but surely cleared up. My skin was clear and I was graduating high school acne free!  YAY!!! 

Little did I know that my problems were not solved. All of a sudden during my freshman year of college,  I had a relapse (top right and bottom left photo). 

I finally felt comfortable with myself but ended up doing a complete 180. 

I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life, and I was scared of my own face because of these red little dots and scars. I did not know what to do or how to feel about myself. During December break, I went back to the dermatologist and got prescribed Doxycycline, which is in the same family of Minocycline when it comes to antibiotics for bacteria and infection treatment. All the doctors told me it was just bacteria in my skin causing the acne and nothing else. My skin kept getting progressively worse as the semester went on, and I made an appointment to see a new dermatologist in May. She suggested I make a gynecologist appointment to get prescribed a birth control that combines estrogen and progestin to cure the acne. Because it turns out…*spoiler alert*… I was struggling with hormonal acne. 

I did not go on birth control for any other reason than solely to cure my skin. While this was the case for me, others go on birth control for the sole reason of being sexually active without worrying about unwanted pregnancy, and that is just as valid a reason to go on birth control as wanting clear skin. 

After hearing about the Supreme Court ruling that employers can opt out of providing health insurance coverage for birth control for their employees, I felt super frustrated. 

Birth control literally made me a new person. My skin became clearer, which enabled me to become much more comfortable in my skin and see myself in another light. As cliché as it might sound, it sure is true that my clear skin gave me a newfound sense of confidence. 

Little Sisters of the Poor is a catholic religious institute for women and claim that “God is looking out for them” after this ruling during an exclusive interview with Fox News. 

It is completely evident that birth control is not solely for controlling birth. It can be used for:

  • Making periods less painful
  • Regulating menstrual cycles
  • Banishing hormonal acne
  • Reducing risk of ovarian cysts
  • Relieving symptoms of PMS and PMDD
  • Helping with menstrual migraines

And the list goes on. 

Now, I ask you to put an emphasis on names and how important it is to name something. It can be someone’s role in this world to name things. This computer I’m typing on right now was named the MacBook Pro and for a reason! 

So yes, while birth control does “control birth,” there are so many other benefits women get from going on various forms of birth control. 

Why should we be denied these benefits because of religious beliefs? This country was founded on freedom, always remember that. 

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