Yesterday was “Thanks, Birth Control Day,” an annual recognition created by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. In honor of this day, the nonprofit has released a report that says 84 percent of U.S. Latinos believe birth control is an essential part of their health care.
They aren’t the only ones. The organization also reports that 87 percent of whites and 91 percent of African Americans believe the same. Despite these numbers, Latinas and their advocate groups are distressed about the Trump Administration’s effort to make access harder to obtain.
In an effort to raise awareness, Latinas across Twitter are using #ThxBirthControl to celebrate and share their positive and personal stories of contraception use.
— Sierra Melendez (@MelendezSierra_) November 7, 2017
It’s part of a massive effort by the National Campaign to ensure women’s reproductive rights are protected.
Behind each tweet is a reminder that birth control, which is under threat as Republicans rally to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), provides health benefits that extend beyond women’s pregnancy concerns.
— Rachel Perrone (@RachelPerrone) November 15, 2017
The tweets are serving as reminders that birth control is a crucial aspect of women’s health. For Latinas, being able to attain birth control can mean everything in terms of their well-being.
Many depend on the ACA to obtain birth control and offset the high costs of accessing it.
— Rafaela (@SweetestJourney) November 15, 2017
Under the Obama administration, the ACA required insurers to cover preventative and essential services for contraception, vaccinations and cancer screenings. While the primary use of hormonal contraceptives amongst women is related to pregnancy, birth control has also helped women battle ailments such as heart disease, acne, seizures and diabetes.
In an interview with NBC, Ann Marie Benitez, the senior director of government relations for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), says the Trump administration’s plan to undermine ACA will undoubtedly set the Latino community backward.
“Contraception helps Latinas plan for their families and their well-being. It is truly central to our health,” explains Benitez, whose own personal experience with birth control allowed her family to reset their intentions of having a second child after her husband’s cancer diagnosis.
Still, under the Trump administration, all of the health benefits birth control provides are vulnerable to erasure.
— Veronica Alvarez MD (@justcallmevero) November 15, 2017
Last month, Trump’s order to “Promote Free Speech and Religious Freedom” led the Department of Health and Human Services to override stipulations in the ACA that require employers to pay for birth control coverage. This reverse poses a serious threat for the 55 million plus women who were able to avoid co-payments for their birth control under Obamacare.
For the Latinas who make 54 cents to every white man’s dollar, the shift raises even greater financial obstacles. What’s more, it raises concerns regarding their ability to pursue higher education and careers that can ultimately provide their families with economic stability.
When it comes to birth control there’s no questioning the ways in which Latinas across the United States have been impacted. It has drastically reduced the number of pregnancies in the community, which no doubt has had implications for the increase in the number of Latinas who are obtaining higher education, securing positions in STEM and owning businesses. Birth control has given so many rightful control over their own bodies, which is reason enough for all of these women to say thank you to it.