BY joan ryan estay
Having a family is something that most women want, but having a family has a different meaning for a lot of women. There are records that describe ancient Egyptian women trying different methods to plan, or not to plan for a family. This is not something new!
Having the option of planning for a family empowers not only women, but their entire families. Women can make a conscious decision towards when they want to start a family, but for family planning to happen we need to talk about contraceptives, which should be available for all women, and be their option if they want to use them. Birth control needs to be accessible at low or no cost for all women and men, and for our future generations to be in control of their own lives, sex education has to be a must at schools and at their homes.
Education from parents and schools is fundamental for young girls and boys to grow up knowing and learning about family planning, sex education and the importance on how this knowledge will give them the tools to be in charge of their lives. The Mayo Clinic recommends parents that have teens to talk about safe sex. Research has shown many teens are sexually active by the time they are in high school¹, waiting for them to become sexually active could be too late to start learning about family plannig.
The statistic portal shows that birth rates have decreased in the United States, and that Hispanic women have been following this trend, having significant lower rates starting in 2007². This is important because it shows women are waiting longer to have a family, they are planning when to do so, as many are prioritizing their careers to become more economically stable.
In Anchorage, if you are in need of affordable contraceptives, call Planned Parenthood 1-800-769-0045 or the Municipality of Anchorage (907)343-4623, as both have Title X funding to provide family planning services.