Elizabeth Banks: I Thank Birth Control Pills for My Son
Just over a year ago, my son Felix was born via gestational surrogacy. He came out of me nine months early and because of my broken belly, his babycake was baked in a wonderful angel’s oven and now — I can’t believe it — he’s a year old and walking. He has expanded my capacity for joy a thousand-fold.
His life would have been much harder to come by if not for the birth control pill. How’s that, you ask? Well, it’s a simple fact: The pill is used for many situations that have nothing to do with the prevention of pregnancy. The pill was prescribed to me when hormonally induced migraines kept me locked up in dark rooms for days at a time. It was prescribed to me to regulate insanely painful cramps every month — cramps so painful that I often vomited.
And here’s a little secret I am happy to blow the lid off of: The pill is often prescribed during the IVF (in vitro fertilization) process to help MAKE BABIES! That’s right, women dealing with infertility are often put on the pill to help regulate a cycle so that they might have a more successful IVF. The pill is used to manage ovarian cysts, endometriosis and other conditions too. Not to mention, it helps couples plan for wanted children.
Obviously, I’m not a doctor. I’m just a woman grateful for my necessary and very helpful medication. And I’m sure glad I don’t have to discuss any of these conditions, including infertility, with my employer.
A girlfriend and I recently wondered what would be more mortifying: having to tell her male employer she needed birth control to mitigate a heavy flow or just bleeding all over herself in the office?
So with that image in mind, I encourage all women — and the men in their lives — to protect access to birth control, and encourage our politicians to take women’s health issues out of the political process.
For more information, please visit the most comprehensive and willing advocates for women’s health in America: www.plannedparenthood.org.