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LV women favor free birth control

Veronica Orozco
Staff Writer

When a group of 10 women students were asked about birth control provided by their University of La Verne health plan, seven of the 10 said they would not be on the pill if the school did not provide it for free.

As full-time students at the University, their health care plan includes free contraceptives.

President Barack Obama’s health care law requires all health care plans that businesses, universities provide for their employees and students offer free birth control.

This includes religiously affiliated universities, hospitals and churches.

According to a recent New York Times survey, 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women have used contraception.

This statistic has been used as an argument that free birth control for women is in every one’s best interest.

“If it were not for the University providing it for me, I would have never started birth control” said Amelia Parra, a freshman biology major.

The informal survey taken at ULV found that eight of the 10 women identified themselves as religious, and four of those eight identified themselves as Catholic.

According to Cindy Denne, director of student health, a fair number of residents on campus take advantage of free birth control pills for protection against pregnancy and to help regulate their periods.

Students not only take these precautions for safe sex, but also use them in case of sexual assault.

“I was always raised to be cautious,” said Sarah Mayo, a freshman criminology major. “I started birth control after going away to college in order to protect myself if anything was ever to happen to me.”

Every two minutes someone in the Unites States is sexually assaulted, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

According to the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, each year an estimated 25,000 American women will become pregnant following an act of sexual violence.

As many as 22,000 of those pregnancies could be prevented through the prompt use of emergency contraception.

A higher dose of the regular birth control pill can be used as emergency contraception after unprotected sex.

Four of the 10 La Verne women surveyed shared their concerns about being able to continue using the birth control pill.

Eight out of 10 said if they were no longer able to get free contraception from the school, their only other form of birth control would be condoms.

Of those eight, they all said they felt like condoms were not as effective as the pill.

Denne said that the pill is the most popular form of birth control.

If any red flags are raised in the patient’s medical history then that prevents them from taking the pill.

The health center would refrain from prescribing it and refer them to a specialist or pursue other forms of birth control.

The risks and benefits of taking birth control pills are presented to women before they begin taking them.

Some of the benefits are more regular periods, prevention of pregnancy, clear skin, reduced cramps and other medical benefits for those who need them.

Religion is a part of these women’s lives and so is their decision to postpone having children until they feel they are capable.

If they are no longer able to obtain free birth control, most of them will have to resort to less effective measures, those surveyed said.

Veronica Orozco can be reached at veronica.orozco@laverne.edu.

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