Women’s healthcare is getting a lot of press these days. Most articles lately are focusing on our below-the-waist lady parts. They call it reproductive health. What they really mean is birth control. The reproductive system is just one of many systems that make up my entire physical body. If I do nothing to my body to interfere with its natural cycles, my reproductive health is just fine. I should visit my gynecologist once a year just to make sure that everything is running smoothly but this is really all that is required for my reproductive system health, much like the rest of the systems that make up my entire physical body. There is a false equivalency between the health of a woman and access to birth control and abortion which needs to be rebutted.
Analyzing a woman’s health starts at her head and works all the way down her body to her feet. Mental and emotional issues take a toll on her body. Malnutrition, lack of strength training and exercise can lead to illness, discomfort and even deformity. Heart issues are the leading cause of death in women. Ulcers, cancer, autoimmune diseases – these are all women’s health issues. Politicians, progressives and ironically, feminists have all implied that a woman’s health revolves solely around her reproductive organs and whether they are allowed to be altered in a manner that causes them not to function as originally designed.
Using birth control is risky, much like using any body altering drug. Caffeine can be risky depending on who uses it – drugs alter your body. Those who laud birth control as a means to improve a woman’s health are deluding their audience. As posted in New York Magazine, “Waking up from the Pill”, “The Pill didn’t create the field of infertility medicine, but it turned it into an enormous industry. Inadvertently, indirectly, infertility has become the Pill’s primary side effect. And ironically, this most basic of women’s issues is one that traditional feminism has a very hard time processing—the notion that this freedom might have a cost is thought to be so dangerous it shouldn’t be mentioned.”
Infertility isn’t the only issue related to using birth control. “Hormone-based birth control often comes with side effects that can range from slightly annoying to bad enough to make you switch. You may not know what you can tolerate until you’ve given a couple of them a try.” – Health.com
- Breast tenderness
- Breakthrough bleeding (aka spotting)
- Decreased libido
- Mood swings, even depression
There are some women who truly need the hormone-laced birth control drugs because without them, their quality of life would be unbearable. Endometriosis is a scarring, painful condition that is relieved by using “the pill”.
Abortion has it’s own set of possible side effects:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Spotting and Bleeding
- Heavy or persistent bleeding
- Infection or sepsis
- Damage to the cervix
- Scarring of the uterine lining
- Perforation of the uterus
- Damage to other organs
For most women, outside of the “rhythm method”, using birth control is a means to prevent pregnancy. Abortion is the means to end pregnancy. Both of these are touted as being related to a woman’s reproductive health and, except using “the pill” as a means of hormonal treatment to relieve certain conditions, neither birth control methods nor abortion improve a woman’s health.
Women who have never used any kind of birth control are not assumed to be necessarily unhealthy. Using a woman’s physical health as an excuse for preventing pregnancy defrauds the public. If the conservative and overall pro-life movement is to be successful at shedding light on the progressives’ tactic of tying health care to preventing or ending pregnancy, we have to call it out as fraud each and every time and loudly. Birth control and abortion are not about women’s health care. Let’s set the record straight.