Forget flowers or breakfast in bed. The National Women’s Law Center has a fun, exciting and indeed ironic way to way to celebrate Mother’s Day this year: birth control stories!
On Monday noted contraception activist and Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke took to Twitter to encourage like-minded women to share their contraception stories for the day honoring moms across the country.
The feminist NWLC is collecting and publishing stories about the birth control struggles of moms and grandmas this week — in the process stoking a narrative that women’s access to birth control is on the brink.
“It’s been nearly fifty years since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Connecticut v Griswold striking down state bans on birth control. Since then, contraception has become so central to women’s lives that 98 percent of women use it at some point during our reproductive years,” NWLC explains on their site. “Yet we still see politicians re-litigating accessible, affordable contraception and other women’s health needs.”
“Have you ever asked your mom, aunt, grandmother, or another loved one in your life what challenges she had gaining access to birth control?” they ask. “We want to hear the stories!” (RELATED: More on Sandra Fluke)
Devoted followers are complying, offering stories of their and their parents’ sex lives that would make most blush.
“My mom had no access to any form of birth control as was typical in the South in the 1920′s-1930′s-1940′s-1950′s-1960′s,” wrote Paul Horne of Boynton Beach, Florida.“Dad used condoms in the 1950′s but prior to then nothing was available for them. When I first got married and lived in the ‘progressive’ (read that ‘recessive because that is what it was and alas often today still is) South, we had no access we could afford to any birth control. It was not until we moved North in 1970 that we finally had access to birth control we could afford.”
Another woman named Les of Tempe, Arizona, offered her own personal story.
“My Mothers Mother (Gran) had an illegal abortion during the depression. She had 2 children at the time and was barely able to feed them,” she wrote. “The abortion left her unable to have more children when times got better and this was a great tragedy in her life. Before my mother married shewas (sic) fitted for a diaphragm. This is not the best type of birth control for a married couple. Mom had 2 more children than she had planned on. Dad was very happy with this.When I decided to become sexually active, I went to planned parenthood (sic) and asked for the pill.”
The celebration of contraception on Mother’s Day is not an idea far off the beaten path.
Monday, The New York Times ran an op-ed by Nicholas D. Kristof also pointing out that people should remember the importance of contraception to all women, especially those in poverty, on Mother’s Day.
“Here’s a Mother’s Day thought: There’s a way to save many of the world’s 350,000 women who die in childbirth each year. But it’s very controversial, for it’s called family planning,” he wrote, going on to detail the hardship Somali women face obtaining birth control and tying those struggles to Republican budget cuts.
For more stories or to offer your own, the NWLC’s outlet for Mother’s Day is “Share Your Story or Your Mother’s Story about the Challenges of Accessing Birth Control”
This year Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 13.