Our first annual Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice garnered much media attention and sparked many interesting online conversations. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who supported our efforts and shared their unique experiences regarding reproductive health.
In addition to the blog carnival which showcased over 20 contraception stories from Latina bloggers, we had great conversations on Twitter and Facebook in response to our daily questions. These questions were aimed at spurring dialogue and providing a space for folks to share their experiences with various forms of contraception.
Here are some of the best responses we had; we hope this provides some insight into the collective story of contraception use among Latinas!
When did you first learn about contraception? Was it from your school, your friends, your family?
I don’t remember if we got the “talk” in school, I do remember in 8th grade we watched the birthing video…I think I learned from my 1st “would be” partner. My mom didn’t go into that stuff much. –A. Mercado
I’m not sure. Somehow, before middle school, I already knew what a condom was, even if I had never seen one, and that some women took pills everyday, and if they missed one then…OOPS! I went to catholic schools for most of elementary school and 8th grade and I don’t remember any sex ed. When I got to a new (and pretty liberal) school, we had sex ed presentations almost every year. –P. Albino
It was from my school in 6th grade. BUT I finally learned about BCP from friends in high school. It was like I had just discovered chocolate for the first time! hehehehe 😉 –K. Chan
What’s the biggest myth you ever learned about contraception?
The Pill will turn a girl into a slut. Not just that she’s a slut for being sexually active, but that her hormones will go crazy from the BCP and she’ll suddenly become promiscuous, beyond her own control. -J. McGillicuddy
That you can take three daily BCPs and have it work like a morning-after pill. Learned the hard way that it doesn’t work well enough…-E. Green
Have you ever had trouble accessing contraception? If so, how?
When I used birth control pills I always had trouble with getting refills. If I tried to get them too early, my insurance would deny coverage. I’d have to get the script reauthorized often and would have to spend hours in urgent care waiting… to see a dr. to renew my prescription. Usually delays would mean I’d have to double up my first pill, which would always make me violently sick and often miss a day of work. Recently there’s been talk of making the Pill over-the-counter…that would have changed my life at the time.
How has being Latina affected your experience with contraception?
I think all of the stereotypes about Latina sexuality made it really stressful for me when trying to obtain information re: contraception. I felt like people would assume it was because I was already having sex- when in reality, I was just trying to get the necessary information now so I could develop a healthy sexual lifestyle when I was ready.
Would birth control be considered “prevention” if there was a pill for men?
It would be free or really cheap, and readily accessible. -K. Nichols
Thanks everyone for making our first Week of Action a success! We can’t wait to engage with you again next year, where we hope to continue upholding reproductive justice for all Latinas!
By Rita Martinez, Communications and Development Intern