Garcia: Access to Birth Control


Samantha Vaith/Iowa State Daily

Sue Thayer(middle) spoke at the Planned Parenthood Lecture in Gerdin on April 4. Before the lecture started she held hands in prayer with colleagues. Sue Thayer worked at a Planned Parenthood in Storm Lake for almost 18 years. 

Julissa Garcia

Practicing safe sex is always an important thing, especially being surrounded by a college environment. Hooking up has become a culture in college life, as everyone is just being young and having fun.

For many, having a kid is not on their radar. There are many tips and resources that people can easily access to practice safe sex and prevent pregnancy, but one that might not be as easy in the coming years is birth control.

Birth control is a contraception for women to prevent pregnancy that can be used via different methods, like pills, a patch or an implant. Many women have used birth control to protect themselves from pregnancy, especially when a condom is not used.

While condoms are always another option of contraception, some partners might prefer not using a condom, in which they would turn to birth control. So why is it difficult for women to access a solution to protect themselves? A women should have options of contraception that should not be challenging to get because of access and the price of it.

The difference between access to a condom or birth control is that birth control is not on a drugstore shelf and definitely not cheap. For all the different methods of birth control, it has to be prescribed by a doctor. Even when getting prescribed, it can be really pricey unless it’s covered by your insurance.

Many women have used alternative clinics that allow them to access birth control easier and accept certain insurances – one of these clinics is Planned Parenthood.

What is Planned Parenthood? That might be a question people will ask in the coming years as the name might not exist in Iowa anymore.

Planned Parenthood serves as an affordable clinic, offering many vital services, like men’s and women’s health services, birth control and abortion. The numerous facilities in Iowa are able to run for the people’s needs by state funding.

Unfortunately, a bill passed by Iowa Legislature cuts funding for these facilities.

The Des Moines Register reported that “the Iowa Senate gave final approval Thursday night to a $1.77 billion Health and Human Services budget bill that blocks state funding to Planned Parenthood and other clinics that provide abortions.”

The purpose of this was to initially cut funding to any abortion services in general, so in order to do that, the Senate thought it was the best decision to just get rid of Planned Parenthood altogether.

This puts many people that utilize these services, especially women who count on Planned Parenthood for birth control, at risk. Recent graduate from Iowa State University, Alessandra Velasquez, explains the impact of defunding Planned Parenthood in her life:

“I went to Planned Parenthood to receive contraception not under my parent’s insurance, because it is something they would not approve of. Having safe sex is a priority for me, and PP allowed me to receive confidential consultation and free contraception with Family Planning Insurance which was a large stress off my shoulders. Recently, I learned that insurance will be expiring due to new laws, and it puts me in a difficult and frustrating position because I cannot use my parents insurance and affording my prescription will be a challenge.”

Many people rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control as they accept many types of insurance, also it keeps it confidential for the women who want to keep it private.

Access to birth control should be universal, especially for a college kid.

Follow the link, to sign the petition supporting Planned Parenthood in keeping birth control accessible.