Religious Leaders & The Pill

Human Rights Fellow
Founder/Executive Director

Sometimes you can’t talk about abortion with talking about the pill aka birth control or as some of the religious hierarchy call it-“The Abortion Pill”. The church and society at large who put organized religion above everything demonize women who use birth control citing that they hate children, babies and motherhood. Nothing is further from the truth. Women going on birth control is largely viewed as a women who doesn’t want children but that’s not always the case and as we’ve seen no contraceptive is 100% full proof in preventing pregnancy. Using the pill doesn’t mean you goal is to not have children, it could be tied to a menstrual issue like never ending bleeding way past your period that can lead to severe anemia or if not treated can be fatal. It can also help to shrink cysts in the ovaries or uterus that can be cancerous. Unfortunately these topics are never discussed.

I remember the first time I went on the pill. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to get pregnant or end up as a single mom, it was because I had a very unhealthy menstrual cycle which led to polyps that in turn led to a never ending menstrual cycle which left me scared and weak. I had no idea what was happening to me because I never experienced it before. I went to countless doctors (when I had insurance) to have tests done and everything seemed fine, except I couldn’t stop bleeding. Finally I couldn’t just sit there so I took myself to the emergency room where the nurses where caring and understanding to my fears and assured me everything was going to be okay. After laying in a hospital bed for what seemed like an eternity, a white male doctor came over to me, looked at my chart, made a face said “You have an irregular period, just go to your OBGYN and have her put you on birth control to regulate it.” It was as if I was a waste for time for him but to me I thought I was going to die. So I went to my gynecologist and told her what happened, she was less than pleased with that doctor and said “I’m not going to just throw pills at it if it’s something more serious”. So more tests, just to make sure, and a low dosage of birth control was prescribed for me.

Once I went on pill things changed, the bleeding ceased and I felt normal again. I wasn’t going to die, I will live. The reason why I say that is because women’s reproductive rights have become a criminal issue in this country to the point where women are practically dying for it. When religious leaders are part of the decision making process on women’s bodies you can be sure the outcome is less than female friendly. The ideology that women should just deal with it and if they lose their life then it must be God’s will. I can assure you it’s not. It was God that opened up a way for me to stop bleeding as I’m sure he has for many women, man twists it so he can have control and regulate what woman can and can’t do with her body. Check your faith gentlemen, no where in the bible does it say that a woman shall be ruled by a man and not have full autonomy. Stop using God as a tool to hate on women. It is a human right to be able to have access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, do we need a UN charter stating that to legitimize it? Language is a powerful thing and when used improperly can cause misconceptions and miscommunications that have dire consequences. Maybe if we change birth control to female wellness care we wouldn’t be attacked so much, but I’m sure they’ll find a way.

The bottom line is the pill still exists thankfully, and many women of faith still use it for various reasons other than they are trying to prevent getting pregnant. It’s not evil or going against the word of God, it’s taking care of yourself so that you can have healthy children when you’re ready or taking care of an issue that can lead to further problems later down the line. I will never apologize for using the pill to help me feel better and be healthier and neither should you.

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