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Use of Birth Control Pills for Non-Contraceptive Reasons is Common, Columnist Writes

Use of Birth Control Pills for Non-Contraceptive Reasons is Common, Columnist Writes

July 31, 2014 — "In the years since the contraception debate first exploded, the media narrative has remained largely the same: Women rely on birth control to prevent pregnancy, and a handful of women who have more exotic health woes need contraception for something else," Daily Beast columnist Keli Goff writes.

In fact, "[m]any women use birth control for reasons other than pregnancy, and we just haven't heard from them much because those reasons are usually embarrassing," Goff writes. She cites a 2011 Guttmacher Institute study that "found that 14 percent of women use contraception exclusively for something other than pregnancy prevention" and "that only 42 percent of respondents use the pill exclusively for pregnancy prevention."

Goff concludes that "since so much of the debate around contraception has become about necessity versus choice, and sexual choice in particular, maybe if some [women] gathered the courage to speak more openly about the reasons we need contraception -- reasons that are awkward and uncomfortable but still important -- the conversation would shift" and more people would believe "that contraception is a necessity" (Goff, Daily Beast, 7/29).