I woke up one morning with the dreaded pain of cramps and saw that I had gotten my period.
Instead of being upset or annoyed, I was glad that I got my period and that my birth control was working. About two years ago, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which does not have a known cure. However, medical research from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2022 has found that the hormonal birth control pill can help subside the symptoms of PCOS. So get birth control, and I will be fine, right?
Accessibility disparities affect women across New York State. According to a study published in 2022 by the New York Birth Control Access Project (NYBCAP), 1.2 million women in New York live in a contraceptive desert where contraceptives are not accessible. New York ranks near the bottom of the country, alongside Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, with the number of contraceptive providers available per person. In my experience, I had to wait months for my birth control to arrive, and when I finally received it, I had issues with co-payments, overall communication issues among doctors, insurance, and pharmacies, and longer wait times for appointments. The barriers to birth control are an attack on the well-being of women. With news of millions of women across the country having their reproductive rights stripped from their possession, birth control should become and remain an accessible health care right.
With Assembly Bill A1125 and Senate Bill S6698A, the Birth Control Access Act will allow patients to go to their local pharmacy and obtain their birth control prescription in one stop. I urge the NYC Assembly and the NYS Senate to pass A1125/S6698A to eliminate the barriers to reproductive health care rights so that millions of women affected can wake up one day and be glad that they got their period.
Emma Ann Taverner a member of Young Invincibles’ New York Young Advocates Program.