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Lena Dunham writes on the importance of birth control

The writer and actor outlines the Trump administration’s ‘chilling’ proposal to deny women contraception

Lena Dunham has been a passionate advocate for birth control, Planned Parenthood and women’s healthcare in the U.S. Having herself suffered with endometriosis from the age of 15 – only officially diagnosed at 27 – she’s now written an op-ed for the New York Times, detailing the importance of contraception for millions of women. 

The Girls creator wrote the piece in response to the Trump administration’s planned proposals to roll back health insurers coverage of birth control. She detailed her horrific, painful experiences across the years, detailing oral contraception as “my only saviour”. She also wrote about visiting the emergency room over 50 times between 1998 and 2017 due to endo-related pain. 

“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,” Dunham 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.” 

There’s no cure for endometriosis, but, as Dunham observed, “it helps keep women with the disease happy, healthy and able to work.” Despite the fact it affects one in 10 women of reproductive age, the National Institutes of Health allocated just $10million of its $32 billion budget.

Dunham outlined how some women, denied the contraception under Trump’s insurers’ guidelines, would “become disabled as their disease progressed”. Others in difficult financial positions would be alienated from endometriosis treatments, like surgeries, and struggle when birth control pills can cost up to $50 a month without insurance. 

“More women in this country are prescribed oral contraception for medical reasons than for pregnancy prevention,” she continued. “If the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress succeed in stripping funding from Planned Parenthood and giving employers carte blanche to deny women necessary medication under murky notions of moral disdain, all paths to health and wellness will disappear for a huge swath of Americans.” 

She concluded her piece by calling on readers to reach out to Congress members and voice opposition to Trump’s proposed rollbacks and crusade against Planend Parenthood.