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The right to not reproduce

The exterior of the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center on May 31, 2019, in St. Louis. A state judge ruled against an attempt by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's administration to shut down the lone abortion clinic in Missouri. Attorney General Eric Schmitt has until June 29, 2020, to decide whether to appeal the ruling. (Michael Thomas/Getty Images/TNS)

By Hannah Kieffer

Women across America are opting for long-term birth control in the wake of change in the Supreme Court.

As Justice Amy Coney Barret was sworn in on Monday, Oct. 26, I felt a knot form in my stomach. Less than two months after Justice Ruth Bader Gisburg died, the Republican majority managed to replace her with someone who could take away everything she worked so hard for. 

A week before the hearing I had an appointment to get an IUD (intrauterine device), a form of birth control that is effective for up to six years. I did not get this form of birth control out of want, but need and fear. After the passing of Justice Ginsburg I knew the courts could potentially overturn Roe v. Wade if they so choose. I also knew birth control coverage on my insurance plan may not be a guarantee of the future. So I did what I could with the information I had at hand. I opted for a highly effective form of birth control that would last. Many of my friends are now scrambling to do the same just in case.

Like many other college students, I am not ready to be a parent. I have used birth control for many years effectively. Theoretically, if laws change if I became pregnant I could be forced to have a child I cannot support. This is simply unimaginable to me. 

Another thing to consider in the wake of distress is abortion rates. According to the CDC, abortion rates have been on a steady decline over the past decade. Many belive this is a result of comprehensive sex education. By giving women access to birth control and informing them on how to use it effectively, you reduce the probability of needing an abortion. So why take away a right that is already declining on it’s own? It is better for women to have the option and not need it, than need it and not have it. 

There are victims of rape and abuse who can only escape the 18-year attachment to someone who beats them by abortion. No one is “pro-abortion,” but I am certianly pro choice. I can never put myself in the shoes of another person. If we take this right away we will see a rise in deaths by women who attempt to abort a fetus in an unsafe manner. If birth control coverage is taken away, these numbers will likely skyrocket. By giving women safe, medical abortions we are saving their lives. Although the pro-life movement is just as valid, I belive in not making that decision for other women. I would never want someone else to decide what to do with my body.

The supreme court now has six conservative justices, making it seem quite possible that these rights women have held so near and dear since 1973 could be eliminated. Women across America must stand up and stand together, now more than ever, to keep control over our own bodies. Together our voices and votes can outshine these potentially detrimental losses.