Women are nervous about their reproductive rights under a Donald Trump presidency, and rightly so. This week, women are posting #ThxBirthControl tweets to remind everyone why it's crucial to everyone's life — not just women. No one is going to come knocking at your door in January asking you to hand over your birth control or IUD or whatever form of birth control you use, but it's likely that access and affordability will be threatened in the near future.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence is a longtime opponent of Planned Parenthood, and members of the Trump transition team like Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn have fought against women's right to affordable healthcare and their right to be in charge of their reproductive health. Republicans, who will control Congress under the administration, have not historically been champions of women's rights. Remember, as recently as 1965, the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to prohibit birth control for married woman.
The hashtag campaign started by Bedsider and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy is a way to remind people just how important birth control is for everyone. The tweets vary in tone and subject, but one theme runs through all of them: Access to birth control means making a choice about when and with whom (if anyone) women get pregnant. That's not something to be taken lightly.
Here are some of the best, so far:
Because It's Just All Around Good For Women
#ThxBirthControl for helping with my acne, my monthly pain, and making it so I don't have any accidental pregnancies. I ❤ you.— Helen Kiaya (@HelenKiaya) November 16, 2016
#ThxBirthControl for boosting my estrogen so I'm actually able to act like myself and stay in a good mood— (Han)nah Solo (@UhOh_Its_Hannah) November 16, 2016
#ThxBirthControl for allowing me to have next to no cycles, near-flawless skin, & that extra layer of security when my bf & I are intimate.— Hikki's Wig (@cookiedrama) November 16, 2016
#ThxBirthControl I wasn't always gay and when I wasn't it was birth control that allowed me a full life unimpeded by unwanted pregnancy. — Eileen De Freest (@eileendefreest) November 16, 2016
Because Women Want Careers AND Families
Because I'd like to graduate and start my career before I have kids #ThxBirthControl— Tristan Poindexter (@thebook_hoarder) November 16, 2016
#ThxBirthControl for allowing me to focus on me while I am not ready to focus on raising a child— Athina Hinson (@CatLadyAti) November 16, 2016
#ThxBirthControl for allowing me to get my masters, control my anemia, and allow my husband and I to decide together when we can afford kids— Ashley Sorgi (@Ash_fromthefire) November 16, 2016
Because Some Women Don't Ever Want To Give Birth
#ThxBirthControl because when I am ready for a child, I'd rather adopt— Athina Hinson (@CatLadyAti) November 16, 2016
#ThxBirthControl for allowing me to have a healthy sex life even though I don't want children— Westbound Masshole (@WBoundMasshole) November 10, 2015
#ThxBirthControl because I've known since I was 10 I never wanted to give birth!— Katherine of Minola (@urs_shrewly) November 16, 2016
#ThxBirthControl for all the men I didn't want in my life long-term and for helping me preserve my body, since I don't want to bear children— Jennifer Paola Reyes (@JenniPaolaReyes) November 16, 2016
Because my husband and I agreed that we don't want children #ThxBirthControl— Mindy McGrath (@mindy_jaye) November 12, 2014
Because It's Just Good Public Health Policy
Pro-lifers need to fight for free birth control. One of the most effective ways to prevent abortions. #ThxBirthControl— pixelren (@pixelren) November 16, 2016
#ThxBirthControl for allowing me not to be further penalized and traumatized by my rape.— Kirstin Kelley (@KirstinKelley1) November 16, 2016
#thxBirthControl for making it so I don't have children I don't want and can't feed.— Kassandra's_Curse (@SandhyaKesar) November 12, 2013
#ThxBirthControl for helping me avoid having a baby and/or abortion I can't afford.— Taylor Trauger (@taylortrauger) November 16, 2016
Of course, as with any hashtag campaign, there were some haters lurking in the bowels of Twitter, claiming that only "weak" women needed "Uncle Sam" to pay for their birth control. That's just not true. And it's harmful to discourage something that keeps women in charge of their bodies and also has some health benefits (as well as some side effects that can usually be worked out with a doctor). According to NARAL, 99 percent of women use or have used birth control. With people like Pence in charge, access to birth control and coverage of costs are definitely at risk.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, head of the Susan B. Anthony List, was on the Trump-Pence Pro-Life Coalition during the campaign. Dannenfelser believes that IUDs, one of the most effective forms of birth control, cause "early abortion." In reality, access to birth control just means that there are more unwanted pregnancies that women might want to consider terminating — and more women who are in control of their own lives.
Hashtag campaigns may seem silly, but it's a good way to show the world that some issues need special attention. More than ever before (or at least since the '60s), women and their partners need to tell their representatives how much they appreciate reliable access to birth control — and not just once in a while, but every day.