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Birth Control Stories

Birth control is basic health care that benefits women and families across the country. 

It benefits the young woman finishing college or starting a career. It benefits the family struggling to make ends meet. It benefits the woman suffering from endometriosis. It benefits the mothers and fathers who planned their families and had children when they were ready. Birth control has had such a dramatic impact on women and families in this country that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named it one of the top 10 public health achievements of the past century.

Hear how birth control has benefited Americans across the country, and why it’s so important that we ensure that birth control be available at no cost to every woman, no matter where she works.

 

Click a state to read a story from that state.

Download all the stories as a PDF (863kB)

ALABAMA

Birth control empowered me to be responsible for my own reproductive health, take charge of my future, and become a contributing member of society.

Alaska

As a woman in my mid-twenties, having access to birth control means that I can focus on getting my master's and starting my career, so that I can give back to my community and support my family--when I'm ready to have one.  

Arizona

Without birth control, I could not have worked to help my husband through school and I could not have pursued higher education and a law degree for myself.  We planned to have two children and have been able to help them achieve the life they want.  More children would have prevented our family from living up to its potential.  

ARKANSAS

For the first time in my life I was able to afford birth control on my own, because my insurance finally covers it.

California

I am a mom of three, working full time AND parenting full time.  It is exhausting and kids are EXPENSIVE!  I love my kids but I cannot have any more due to finances and the well-being of both my career and mental health!  Birth control is vital not only to younger women who want to get their careers in place before they start having kids but also to older women who really need to just take care of the kids they already have!  

Colorado

As a single woman who teaches part-time, I have to pay for my own insurance. I have advanced degrees, I am a law-abiding citizen and a proven educator. Birth control coverage is necessary for me because I am trying to plan for the future with my boyfriend and cannot afford any surprises right now. I also support birth control coverage without copays because I see my students struggling as single parents. No one should risk their financial future (or the future of their children) because of lack of affordable prevention. 

Connecticut

Ovarian cysts are painful and impair fertility. Without regular access to birth control (which I get thanks to Planned Parenthood), I would continue to have these cysts. There are a variety of medical reasons that people choose a hormonal contraceptive. Regardless, every woman should be able to choose for herself.  

Delaware

Many women, including me, use birth control for medical reasons such as endometriosis, bleeding disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome, irregular or painful periods. Whatever reason a woman chooses to use birth control, she should be able to get it at no cost. 

District of Columbia

As a 20-something with a part-time job, this will be one less thing for me to worry about being able to afford. Thanks! 

Florida

Before the ACA, my insurance company considered OB/GYNs specialists; therefore, the copay was high and lab work was not covered.  Additionally, I paid $60 a month for my birth control. Last week, I saw my doctor for my annual exam and had no copay or lab bill.  Yesterday I picked up the first of my new annual prescription and paid nothing!  This will save me around $900 a year, which is significant for a young, married professional.   

Georgia

When the time comes I would like it to be available and affordable for my daughter through whatever health insurance provider we are on.

Hawaii

Part of taking responsibility for ourselves and our families is to have children when we are ready and able to care for them. Preventing unwanted pregnancies helps everyone.  What would our society be like if all children were wanted and well cared for?  My son was planned and it made such a difference. My choice, my responsibility. 

Idaho

I'm a poor college student who's learning to do a whole lot of good in this world! But I cannot do that if I can't plan parenthood.

Illinois

Copay-free birth control allows me to save money monthly and put it toward other necessities!  I have a high-deductible health plan that is very costly in and of itself.  Paying an additional copay on top of my monthly rate would make birth control unaffordable.  Birth control is a priority in my life as I am a working young professional who is not in a place financially where I could afford a child.  I rely on my birth control for health purposes as well.  

Indiana

Without birth control, I would have probably become pregnant at an early age, with an unwanted child, and no career. Because of Planned Parenthood and birth control, I was able to become a nurse and have a great family when I was ready! 

Iowa

As a self-employed business owner, I don't want to have to worry about an unplanned pregnancy.  Every little bit helps with expenses!

Kansas

Birth control made it possible for my husband and me to complete medical school and residency and have our two children at a time in our lives when we were ready for them.  We were lucky to be able to afford birth control at the time; not everyone is. The ACA improves access and allows more women and families to have the ability to plan their family as we were able to.   

Kentucky

As a college student who uses contraceptives for hormone therapy, coverage without copay means that I can spend money on school instead of medication.

Louisiana

Birth control has made it possible to work as much as I do and live the quality of life that I choose for myself. I am so thankful for it and Planned Parenthood. 

MAINE

For me, and for many women like me, this is not only a reproductive issue; it's a basic health issue. Before going on birth control to regulate my cycle, I became desperately ill every month with headaches, nausea, and fainting. Birth control makes it possible for me to remain healthy and function in my everyday life, and I need health care coverage that makes it available and affordable. 

Maryland

Birth control is expensive, plain and simple. I was unemployed for a length of time due to the poor economy and struggled to find the $30/month to pay for generic. I now work two jobs that don't offer health insurance and still struggle to find the $30 each month to pay but I do it because I am responsible. I don't want to become pregnant and I deserve this benefit for being responsible — as should any and every woman.

Massachusetts

I used birth control to combat tremendous pain in my twenties. Had I not been covered, I would have been unable to afford this medication and my quality of life would have decreased — as every month I would have faced debilitating pain. My copays at the time, though relatively small, were still a struggle to meet every month on a student's income. I support birth control coverage without copays for women like myself in need of financial and medical assistance, and I support it because I believe the health and maintenance of a woman's body is essential to a functioning society.

Michigan

I work full-time and attend grad school. I have student loans to pay off. It is very important to my husband and me (both Catholic) to have access to birth control so that we can carefully plan for our future family. I also have a chronic illness and deal with daily pain issues. Birth control helps to make my cycle easier to handle with my existing condition.

Minnesota

My OB-GYN has prescribed birth control pills for me, a woman nearly 52 years of age, as part of my treatment for perimenopausal symptoms.  It is highly unlikely that I would become pregnant at my age, but it is still physically possible. I appreciate the fact that I have access to birth control for both reasons. And the last time I picked up my prescription, it was absolutely free of charge!

Mississippi

These pills are very expensive for people who are on a budget and also going to school. Birth control should be accessible and affordable.

Missouri

Birth control is extremely important to my overall health. Birth control allows me to function by regulating my hormones; without it, I am literally unable to leave the bed. It is crucial that I have the ability to plan my life and function as I see fit; there is no alternative.

Montana

I'm a struggling post-college freelance designer. My income fluctuates, and I often don't have an extra $45 for a copay if there's an emergency or I'm going through a dry spell financially. I'm not ready to be a parent. When I get to the point at which I can amply support myself and my business is steady, I may consider a family. 

Nebraska

When I was a high school student, even before I became sexually active, birth control pills helped me and many of my friends who suffered debilitating cramps and mood swings. Today birth control helps me plan for a future I can afford, without unplanned pregnancies which, as an unemployed graduate student, would derail my academic and financial future.

NEVADA

Before the Affordable Care Act, my IUD cost $600 for the copay — which was completely out of my price range. But now I  do not have to pay anything at all, and my husband and I don't have to worry that an unplanned pregnancy will hold us back from graduating college next spring. 

New Hampshire

As a woman in her early thirties in graduate school, I have gone on hormonal birth control for the first time with the ACA. An unintended pregnancy now would be devastating to me; I would have to choose between school or a child, and that is a choice that would undo me. I am so grateful that my birth control is affordable and accessible. I will be happy to have a professional degree and be employable when I start my family! 

New Jersey

I'm 23 and recently married to the love of my life. We both have piles of student loans and other bills to pay, and every penny counts. I'm so relieved to not have to worry about the possibility of getting pregnant with a child I can't support. 

New Mexico

As a college student who works full time at a low-paying job, I don't have a lot of money, nor do I have the time to raise a child right now. I was on the pill for over a year because it was the only affordable option under my health care plan. The IUD, which I had wanted from the beginning, was barely covered, and would have cost me several hundred dollars out of pocket, which I didn't have. The ACA finally gave me the option to get my IUD and get off of hormones. Thanks to the ACA, I have my emotional health back and can use the birth control method that's best for me.

New York

My girlfriend and I are both public-school teachers. Birth control means that we can be better teachers now and better parents later.

North Carolina

When I was in my twenties, I put birth control on my credit card because I couldn't afford to pay my bills, feed myself and stay on birth control on my minimum wage income. It took years to pay off the debt I racked up. I don't want to see a younger generation of women have to make those kinds of decisions just because they're trying to be responsible and healthy.

North Dakota

I've seen girls at my school who have become pregnant because they didn't have birth control. I've also seen girls who have prevented pregnancy and gone on to accomplish their dreams because of birth control.  

OHIO

It is already saving me money. I will save $120/year on copays, and this would have been a huge help to me when I had no insurance. I don't make a lot of money as a graduate student taking care of four people on one person's paycheck, so anything helps.

Oklahoma

I am so grateful that President Obama sees the vital importance of proper health care for women, including increased access to affordable birth control. This change is significant for me in that I will now save $120 a year. When you make $35,000 a year, that makes a difference.

Oregon

In 2007 I had a $300 copay for my birth control device. This year when I had it replaced, it was fully covered.  Since it is a regular fact of life that I have to periodically replace it — like getting vaccines and other regular preventive health procedures — this makes all kinds of sense. 

Pennsylvania

I am a young woman who is happily married to my college sweetheart. I'm so proud that we live in a country where we can take charge of planning our family, and that I'm afforded the opportunity to work toward building my career and enjoy time with my husband before having children. As recent college grads, we don't have a lot of money, and measures like the ACA ensure that I can continue to take charge of my future!  

Rhode Island

I know adults in their twenties living on their own who cannot afford the food on their table at times, and they are wisely waiting to have children when they are more financially able to afford them. 

South Carolina

Without birth control, I'd never be able to get through college. Also, it does more than prevent unwanted pregnancies. Without it, every month I would spend one entire week in severe pain. This not only regulates my period but helps me function in my everyday life.

South Dakota

I am a young adult. All of my friends are young, mature, responsible adults. We are all committed to the use and promotion of birth control, because we are all mature and responsible enough to know that we are not ready to have children. We are also not the richest of people and buying our preferred method of birth control can sometimes be a financial hardship, even with copays and assistance programs. We want control over our futures, and in this world where almost nothing is in our control, at the very least we want to control if and when we start a family. 

Tennessee

I'm 29, and I've been on birth control pills since I was 17, when I started developing ovarian cysts. I now have endometriosis. If I'm even 12 hours late taking my pill, I experience a lot of pain, and the pill may even be preventing me from needing surgery. Even with insurance I had been paying $400 a year for them. When my pharmacist told me I was now paying $0, I was surprised and thrilled! It's nice to get a break. 

Texas

I still have substantial student loan debts, and not having to pay for birth control is a relief. I also have multiple health issues and must take some medications that include steep copays.  I was raised Catholic.  I believe that in a perfect world there would be no unwanted pregnancies. Access to birth control for all women is a decisive step in that direction. 

Utah

I am a graduate student who is working on my Ph.D. in cancer biology. I receive a small stipend and poor health insurance. However, with the Affordable Care Act, now I am able to get birth control. Thanks to birth control, I am able to continue my schooling and further our knowledge about cancer formation. 

Vermont

At least two of my close friends and I have recently begun to get our birth control for free, after years of having to pay increasingly unaffordable copays. It lessens our financial, physical and mental stresses knowing that our preferred method of contraception is both affordable and easily attainable. Now we can put more money toward paying off our student debt.

Virginia

When I was a military wife, I had free medical care with birth control when I needed it.  We had the two children we wanted and could care for WHEN we wanted them and felt we could afford them. I didn't think about the privilege at the time; it was just there when I needed it.  Now, I think: how absurd that all women don't have this vital medical coverage available to them!

Washington

I have been on birth control pills for the past nine years to treat extreme menstrual pain. Since the ACA, I haven't had to worry about copays for receiving my birth control every month. And this has made my life much easier. Birth control is not just used for preventing pregnancy; sometimes women need it to treat a variety of health problems. 

WEST VIRGINIA

I am on birth control for a medical reason. Presently, my birth control is the most expensive prescription I have to take, and it worries me that I might have to choose between a medicine I need for my health and other things I need like food, gas and rent.

Wisconsin

I am a student trying to finish up my bachelor's degree. I do not have the time or the extra money to have children right now. Birth control with no copays allows me to better plan when I am ready to start a family and also greatly reduces any unexpected,unwanted surprises like pregnancy.

Wyoming

I am an unmarried 35-year-old woman in a wonderful relationship. I do not want to have children. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I do not need to pay $98/month for the form of birth control I choose.