Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Study: American Women Use Contraception for Great Reasons!

By Amy Phillips Bursch, Media Relations Manager

I’m not usually a big proponent of made-up holidays (International Talk Like a Pirate Day and National Donut Day excluded) but I can TOTALLY get behind this one:  Tomorrow -- Sept. 26 -- is World Contraception Day! Yessss!

I'm a huge fan of family planning. Contraception has allowed me to choose the direction of my life rather than have only one option – motherhood. Given my lifelong disinterest in parenthood, I’ve instead chosen to focus on being a wife, writer, employee, volunteer and cool (I hope) auntie to seven great nieces and nephews.

I’m not alone. A new study just out from the Guttmacher Institute proves what I've suspected all along: American women use contraception to  -- wait for it – “better achieve their life goals.” Whoa.

"We can wait to have a kid until we're ready? YES!" (Mathias Kunzli/Flickr)
(Of course, some conservatives argue that women shouldn’t have any life goals beyond being a wife and mother, but I’d kindly suggest that they have at it if they'd like but let the rest of us live our lives how we see fit, thank you very much.)

Tidbits from the study:

  • 63% of women surveyed say contraception has helped them better take care of themselves and their families – including the kids they’ve already got.
  • 56% say contraception has allowed them to support themselves financially.
  • 51% say contraception has allowed them to complete their education. Those silly women thinking they need college degrees!
  • 50% say contraception has allowed them to get or keep a job.
Among reasons women said they used contraception were that they could not afford a baby (65%), they weren’t ready to have children (63%), to have better control over their lives (60%) and wanting to wait until their lives are more stable to add a baby to it (60%).

Those sound like really responsible reasons to me! And here I thought we were all using birth control to engage in wanton hedonism. Oh well.

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