Why Do Women Use Birth Control? Believe It or Not, Nobody Asks

According to a new report by the Guttmacher Institute most women in the US use contraception because it allows them to better care for themselves, their families, complete their education and achieve economic security.

Jennifer Frost and Laura Lindberg of the Institute said most studies on contraceptive use fail to ask women why they use contraception. To fill this gap, the authors surveyed 2,094 women receiving services at 22 family planning clinics nationwide. The majority of participants reported that contraception has had a significant impact on their lives, allowing them to take better care of themselves or their families (63%), support themselves financially (56%), complete their education (51%) or keep or get a job (50%).

“Women value the ability to plan their childbearing, and view doing so as critical to being able to achieve their life goals,” said study author Laura Lindberg in a statement. “They need continued access to a wide range of contraceptives so they can plan their families and determine when they are ready to have children.”

When the women were asked why they were using contraception at this point in their lives they all expressed concerns about the consequences an unintended pregnancy would have on their families’ and their own lives. Not surprisingly the single most frequently cited reason for using contraception was that the women could not afford to take care of a baby at that time.

Along those economic concerns, nearly one in four women reported that they or their partners were unemployed which was also an important reason for their contraception use.

And to drive home the point that contraception and abortion are issues mothers deal with, among the women with children who participated in the study nearly every one of them reported their desire to best care for their current children as a reason for contraception use. “Notably, the reasons women give for using contraception are similar to the reasons they give for seeking an abortion,” according to Lawrence B. Finer, author of a previous Guttmacher study on that topic. “This means we should see access to abortion in the broader context of women’s lives and their efforts to avoid unplanned childbearing, in light of its potential consequences for them and their families.”

Inextricably tied to economic concerns, women cited economic opportunity as another reason they used contraception. 56 percent of respondents said it allowed them to support themselves financially, 51 percent said it allowed them to complete their education while 50 percent said it allowed them to keep or get a job.

So when Republicans like Paul Ryan promise to take away the contraception benefit in Obamacare, and when lawmakers across the state want an employer to have the ability to veto insurance coverage for contraception, let’s be clear what those lawmakers really want, and that’s to take away women’s ability to be economically self-sufficient.


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Over 30 Anti-Choice Measures Pass In May [Video]


Photo from widasko via flickr.


Frank S.
Past Member 5 years ago

Bottom line here ladies is that government is trying to run your life.Look what they did to the smoker....can't smoke around people, in public places, in NYC you can't smoke in your condo, a $12.00 tax on a pack of cigs. Please, please please this is my life, let me live it the way I choose to and STOP telling me what is good or bad for me let me be the judge of that.

Does this sound familiar ladies Everyone and I mean everyone is losing their FREEDOM to use their own judgement when it comes to their own life. The ONLY thing Obamacare did for the working class was raise their tax's.
Wake up ladies your body belongs to only you and NOT the government

Beverly Johnson
Beverly J5 years ago

It's important to understand why women use birthcontrol so everyone can understand why they try to make it unavailable.

Let's get real! It's not because of any love of god or morality. The reasons these bullies will fight to deny women birthcontrol are purley selfserving. They want power, they need to remain economically above women, they need to keep women economically dependant on them so they can have power.

The world is changing and with more women graduating with Phds then men, that's scary, so they fight back by denying women birth control and calling it a religious and moral crusade.

We need to throw the truth and their selfserving motives in their face. If they care so much about children then why do we have thousands of them rotting in orphanages around the world? These selfish bullies are the same ones who want things like nuclear wepons but lets say the truth. Whats good for women is good for children and good for the future. Their petty little interests are what dont matter.

Ewelina Grobelna
Ewelina Grobelna5 years ago

First its nobody's business what I want to do with MY body. Second, is it that hard to think that I don't want to be a constant incubator and actually HAVE a life instead of bearing and rearing up a string of kids until I die??? And in which world could I even afford that string of kids even if I wanted that many? And did any of those genies who want to decide about MY right to MY own body ever thought how big a toll a pregnancy actually takes on woman's body? No, because most of them are men who never have to deal with that personally. Wonder how different a world would be if men actually had to go through all that women go through while dealing with this 'be an incubator all your life' idea. It doesn't affect THEIR bodies after all!

Amber Beasley
Amber Beasley5 years ago

not to mention it doesn't work near as well as they want you to believe. almost everyone I know has had more than one child while they were on it.

Amber Beasley
Amber Beasley5 years ago

yes but this doesn't tell you about all the women that take birth control and end up with infections, high blood pressure, complete mood altering disorders, miscarriages, birth defects in babies, etc. birth control is not good for your body.

a             y m.
g d c5 years ago


John S.
Past Member 5 years ago

"To fill this gap, the authors surveyed 2,094 women receiving services at 22 family planning clinics nationwide." Now that is what I call a representative survey.

Alison Baker
Alison Baker5 years ago

It doesn't matter why women use contraception. It's no one's business but their own.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for posting.

Carla van der Meer

If qw know why, then we can better serve the women who ose BC.