#thxbirthcontrol

November 17 is the ninth annual #ThxBirthControl day hosted by Power to Decide. The day is all about celebrating what birth control has allowed users to do – plan pregnancies, protect against pregnancy, and simply, have peace of mind.

In the modern age, birth control comes in many forms – from the classic pill to the IUD – meaning there is more control than ever over bodily autonomy. Rebellious Magazine celebrates #ThxBirthControl day for everything birth control has allowed our staff and readers to do without having to worry about an unplanned pregnancy.

The birth control industry didn’t start out with inclusivity at its core. Margaret Sanger, the racist eugenics founder of what is now Planned Parenthood, was only concerned with advancing the cause for white women. Although times have changed a bit, some people are still left out of the movement. Trans and nonbinary people must be included in conversations about birth control and abortion access.

This #ThxBirthControl, we are also asking our readers: Why are you thankful for birth control? What have you been able to do in your life without worrying about pregnancy?

#ThxBirthControl Day: Why This Rebellious Writer is Thankful

Over the last six years, I have entrusted the birth control pill with my fate. Taking it at exactly at 9:30 p.m. every single night for roughly the last 2,000 evenings, some sort of relationship was bound to form.

I have tried different kinds – low estrogen, high estrogen, 21 pills, 28 pills – seeing what would work best for my body. I knew I didn’t want the IUD, even though it works great for many people, I was terrified of the thought of any medical device in my body.

When I was diagnosed with endometriosis, I was able to continuously take my birth control pill and skip my periods (of course, terrified I was pregnant with the absence of my period) to see if it relieved my symptoms. I have been able to have control over many parts of my life, and as a woman, succeed more than I ever thought I could.

I graduated from college and then moved to a new city for graduate school to complete my master’s degree in journalism. Every night, taking a tiny pill that dictated the course of my life.

I am fortunate enough to live in a large city with access to abortion care, but for rural birth control users that isn’t always the case. Birth control lessens the chance of pregnancy, and for those who decide pregnancy isn’t for them, abortion. If anti-choice people truly wanted to see less abortion, they would advocate for equitable birth control access.

Now at 23, I am forever grateful for my access to birth control and the choices I was able to make to advance myself, my career, mental health, relationships and friendships with full control over my fertility. This type of control is a right – not a privilege, one that everyone deserves access to. It’s all about the power to decide. #ThxBirthControl

Sam Stroozas

Sam Stroozas is the sexual health and reproductive justice fellow for Rebellious Magazine and a freelance journalist based in Chicago covering gender and social justice issues. Follow her on Twitter @samstroozas.