PSU student Kaitlyn Rhea started a project in hopes of educating students on the topic on birth control.
“I decided to conduct this project on the topic of birth control because of the current climate surrounding the topic of women’s rights,” Rhea said. “I also wanted to do this project on birth control because I know a lot of women who are currently taking or have previously used some form of birth control and I knew some of them struggled to obtain the medication because of access issues or cost issues.”
Rhea initially started this project for a women’s studies course but believes that everyone should be informed about birth control.
“When I enrolled in the women’s and gender studies class, I knew we were going to have to conduct an activism project and I thought for a few days (about) what I was interested in and what I was going to be passionate about fighting for change for and that is when I came to the topic of birth control access and research,” Rhea said.
Rhea also has a personal reason driving her project.
“This project is important to me because for some women birth control is a must and I know that not all women can access it,” Rhea said. “Personally, I have a disease that I take medication for and if I were to get pregnant while on that medication, I would have serious complications. Birth control is a very important part of my life at this particular moment. I know I’m not the only woman that is in that kind of situation and I was lucky enough to have access and be able to afford my birth control, but not everybody is that fortunate.”
There are many ways to help and raise awareness.
“People can help by advocating for organizations such as Planned Parenthood and The Power To Decide,” Rhea said. “It is important that people realize that Planned Parenthood has a huge impact for women that need low-cost access to many different types of birth control, 18 different types to be exact. Sharing petitions and aiming things at the Federal Drug Administration could really help to get more research done on birth control options,” Rhea said. “Also, again, advocating for Planned Parenthood and other clinics for women to get birth control at lower costs could really help too. In Kansas, there are only around 40 health clinics that can provide birth control services, only 1 here in Crawford county.”
Being informed and understanding the uses of birth control is important which is part of the reason Rhea decided to focus her project on birth control.
“Mainly, I am hoping to spread awareness to people about why birth control is important and why it needs to be more widely accessible,” Rhea said. “I am also trying to enlighten people about what little research has actually gone into some of these medications and I hope that someday more research will be done.”