Yesterday morning, in my overtired 4 am to-the-airport state, I open Twitter to a tweet from the "Voice of the Common Man" (VOCM), so aptly named it's one of those "if you don't laugh, you'll cry" monikers.
"Question of the day: Should teenage girls be permitted to get an IUD for birth control purposes?"
I did a double take. Were we talking about Improvised Explosive Devices? Had they made a typo?
VOCM, a local media outlet, was asking their readers, in a province already exposed for its hot takes on issues such as the "scandalous" rainbow crosswalk in Springdale and the "daring" LGBTQ2S+ presentation in Middle Arm, if teenage girls should be able to *gasp* take advantage of one of the more effective and modern devices of birth control and reproductive health.
As you can imagine, I nearly needed a Xanax. My blood pressure went through the roof and the pitbull came out (pitbulls are loving dogs, by the way, and I in no way support breed specific legislation, but they are also gloriously loyal and will defend to the end).
Get. Out. Of. My/her. Box.
"IUDs are one of the best birth control methods out there — more than 99% effective. That means fewer than 1 out of 100 women who use an IUD will get pregnant each year. IUDs are so effective because there's no chance of making a mistake. You can't forget to take it (like the pill), or use it incorrectly (like condoms)." - Planned Parenthood
I am not a teenage girl.
I have, however, been one (many moons ago).
I was a teenage girl with periods so bad I deliriously beat my head off the porcelain of our bathtub to try and stop the pain before doctors injected shots of Demerol into my ass and discussed the options.
IUDs, Depo Provera shots, birth control pills - all were offered as options by doctors who compassionately educated me in the side effects and possibilities of each. I did not choose an IUD, but I know plenty who have and for a miriad of reasons. I did not choose one because my mother had nearly died with one due to a genetic issue, one I am unsure I carry. It wasn't worth the risk. My choice had NOTHING to do with the method.
Guess what, folks? It's none of your business what any woman, teenage or adult, jams up her box, injects in her arm or ass, or swallows in pill form. None. NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
IUDs are an effective method of birth control and also an effective method of managing many other health issues a young woman can face.
At the end of the day, if a teenage woman is experiencing unmanageable pain with her periods, or she is out banging half the town, it is no one's business but her own and her loved ones. She can make that choice.
Women revolted and, in record time, before noon on a Sunday, the Question of the Day was taken down.
I will offer no thanks to VOCM. A news outlet should have enough sense not to ask that question in the first place and, without the backlash of numerous women and allied men alike, we'd still be watching the colourful polls rack up in "yes," "no," and "unsure."
B'ys, stay out of our uteruses (uteri?). Stay out of our boxes, our lives, our choices.
Whether we are 14, 36 or 75, GTFO. Batter. Seriously. You don't belong here.
Also, if anyone is familiar with the IUD implantation procedure, they would also know there will hardly be a line of 13 year olds lining up to have their cervix and uterine wall dug at.
Some day, some how, maybe people will realize that a woman/girl's sexual choices, activity and birth control methods are her's. Some day.
Maybe I'm being hopeful and optimistic in this septic tank of a world. Maybe.
Until then, if a young girl wants an IUD, let her have one. It is none of your business, no matter her reasons. Gynos will not implant one without informing of side effects and possible unintended consequences. Not every teenage girl who seeks an IUD will wind up with HIV as we watch Allan Hawco star in our Newfoundland and Labrador equivalent of "Philadelphia," all of the social media warriors crying, "BUT WE TOLD YOU SO ON THE VOCM QUESTION OF THE DAY!"
Get out of my box. Get out of hers. And go mind your own business.
Everyone woman and girl deserves to make her own sexual choices and to do so without the backwards, judgemental eyes of the local media and critics following her through the door.