Makayla White recently wrote this super viral tweet about how discussion of birth control as an issue is too often approached by “20 year old Republican boys.”
Birth control is a ~ hot topic ~ in America again, because free birth control is largely guaranteed by President Obama’s landmark legislation — the Affordable Care Act — and President-elect Trump with Congressional Republicans have pledged to roll back the legislation (perhaps including its provision for free birth control).
Keeping birth control accessible makes all the sense in the world. By having better family planning strategies, not only are we improving the lives of women, we are taking a burden off our healthcare industry and social services industry (that may eventually be forced to care for an unwanted infant put up for adoption).
However, Republicans are not quite so sure. And there seems to be a disproportionally large number of male (vs. female) people who have reservations about free birth control. Like this “gentleman” Eric who sent a DM to Makayla after her first tweet got wide internet exposure:
But Makayla comes back with the perfect response to Eric:
Also, this second part of her message was pretty great too:
“Most of the responses, or rather backlash, I’ve received is coming from boys who assume I can’t afford my own birth control and use it strictly to prevent pregnancy. That’s not the case at all. If needed, I’m fortunate enough that I would have no problem affording birth control.” Makayla told us a few hours after posting the above DM from Eric.
“My [initial] tweet, while I did use a more comedic tone, was more to stand in solidarity with the women who can’t afford it and especially for those who use it for purposes other than pregnancy prevention. I’m severely anemic, so prior to taking birth control I would pass out on a daily basis due to blood loss during my menstrual cycle every month.”
Eric’s not so subtle slut-shaming doesn’t seem to acknowledge the simple truth that most people will have sex, period. If you have doubts about this, check out the efficacy of “abstinence only” sexual education programs.
The only question here is whether we are going to enable people to make responsible choices when having sex. And the best way to do that is to make both condoms and birth control as accessible as possible.
“I guess I just don’t agree with men deciding things about women’s healthcare!” Makayla concluded.
And while we live in a democracy where our representatives all vote on every issue regardless of gender involved, it would be difficult to disagree that perhaps some men need to do a better job taking a step back and listening to the female experiences around them before forming opinions on issues like birth control.