In a powerful and moving op-ed, Lena Dunham has written about birth control and its importance, and you need to see what she has to say.
In the essay, written for the New York Times, the actor and writer addressed her struggles with endometriosis, sharing how she suffered for 15 years before she was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 27. Writing candidly, Dunham said that her only saving grace for part of that time was oral contraception.
“Birth control pills are many women’s method of choice for preventing unintended pregnancy and should be covered by all insurance policies for that reason alone,” she wrote. “But for millions of women living with endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cystic acne, migraines, uterine abnormalities and a history of ectopic pregnancies, birth control can be a crucial, even lifesaving, medical treatment.”
The Girls star wrote about the benefits of oral contraception for women suffering from endometriosis, calling out how little funding the government gives to research projects seeking a cure for this condition. In fact, she said, if the current administration continues on its dangerous path to “roll back the requirement that insurers cover birth control,” the effect could be disastrous for women all over the country.
Without insurance, birth control pills can cost upwards of $50 a month, something Dunahm argues will be debilitating for people living below the poverty line, and she noted that those who have endometriosis might not necessarily have access to surgeries, so that birth control is a lifeline.
“More women in this country are prescribed oral contraception for medical reasons than for pregnancy prevention,” she argued, noting that if funding is stripped away from Planned Parenthood and employers are able to deny women medication, then “all paths to health and wellness will disappear for a huge swath of Americans.”
While Lena Dunham recognizes that she comes from a place of relative privilege and was able to seek treatment when her endometriosis became so bad that she needed surgery, she said that she was shocked by how marginalized and forgotten having an illness can make someone feel.
She ended her essay with a rallying call for all individuals, not just celebrities or women, to help oppose the cuts to Planned Parenthood:
“At a time when we have no guarantee of health care or protection from our administration, every woman you love, sick or well, is depending on you. Please do not let us down,” she wrote.
Read the full essay here.