Support the Pod

Listen & Subscribe

Listen on Google Podcasts

051: Birth Control

Hello! Welcome to episode 51 of I’d Rather Stay In. Hold onto your britches because this week we’re unloading a lot of Big Feelings about birth control.

Quick links & sources

A Brief History of Birth Control

Birth Control Throughout History

Anthony Comstock’s “Chastity Laws”

Immigration Detention and Coerced Sterilization: History Tragically Repeats Itself

Male Birth Control Study Killed After Men Report Side Effects

IG post from Tori Hope Peterson (former foster youth) about her experience on birth control:

Episode transcript

Welcome to I’d rather stay in the podcast for cozy introvert. We’re your hosts Megan Myers and Stephie Predmore

This week’s topic birth control.

Hello, hello.

You got carpet today?

I did finally,

you have no longer have the gross. Whatever was that was, I think it was like beyond being carpet anymore. It had been just a floor covering.

I mean, we first talked about this like what four weeks ago you were Yeah, last like four weeks ago. We’re like

tomorrow Megan’s getting new carpet, right. And so we’re between them. They lost her carpet or something. And it took four weeks for them to get it in. So

while they actually said that when we talked to them last to the salesperson, he was like, Oh, we actually we have it. I don’t know why they’re not installing it. And we’re like, fucking kidding me. It’s great. It’s fine. We haven’t now it’s good. It’s nice and soft. Which is good. Cuz

Are you still sitting on the floor to record?

I am temporarily still because I have not figured out a situation. yet.

Someday we’ll have what I have been referring to as the love nest, which is where we will pod and craft

together. Eventually. Yes.

I don’t know where the love nest is going quite yet.

I mean, I have a craft area set up but it’s in the basement.

You bugs?

Well. I mean, there’s not a lot of bugs in our basement, but it is a little colder down there. And because there aren’t doors and stuff. It might be a little bit loud with a sirness and all sorts of various things. So it’s true. We will eventually set our

sights on the dream list.

Yeah, we’ll get our little hideaway set up at some point. Maybe not until next year, though.

After the winter

after after we get through your first Illinois winter.

Yes. If the house does not fall down by then.

It’s been standing since the late 1800s. I think you’ll be okay.

I hope so.

Unless Bob just really goes crazy like knocking out walls which

he’s not allowed to knock out any walls.

Okay, I’m glad that you’ve at least said that perimeter. Yeah, we’re no

wall knocking,

he can drill holes into things but he can’t knock walls down. No, not allowed.

You know, sometimes you just got to put some rules in place. It’s true. You really just have to

nip it in the bud.

You absolutely predict what is the craziest thing this man could do? And how can I tell him not to do it before it crosses my set. You don’t just come home one day and there’s a hole in your wall. And you’re like what

happened? But you also don’t want to mention it preemptively. Because then he might be like, Well, actually, that’s

a good idea. Right? Because then you put the idea in his head there’s like there’s a fine line between setting the rule and not putting the idea in his head. It really is.

This is marriage people. Marriage it’s fine.

Oh, man.

So I guess we could just dive right in today cuz we have a hold onto your butts episode. Yeah, we got a packed

a packed agenda for today. You guys a little

bit. I got kind of on a tear when I was doing research.

I’m surprised that’s never happened before Megan. This is so out of left field for your personality like

I was I was typing up the notes. And I was like I’m so I’m on page three of notes, which usually does not happen for her. She finally stopped.

Well, sometimes we don’t have any notes.

And then apparently, sometimes we have three pages of notes. So she she finally stopped so I could add some things. But by the time I got to the notes, they were she’d pretty much covered most of what I was hoping we would chat about.

I mean, I could have kept going I felt like I was in a zone and I was just like ready to write a whole argumentative paper about it. I had to reel myself back in because you guys might like us but you don’t like us that much. I don’t think anyone listen to us for three hours talking about this topic. It’s fine. So with the election that is happening as we speak. And the recent Supreme Court upheaval, one thing that has been on many people’s minds is birth control. But frankly, if you’re a woman who needs or has needed it, birth control and the issues surrounding it is always on your mind.

That is right So in light of all of this, and the iron that we feel that some

of it or all of it, we wanted

to talk about it.


So, Megan, let’s, let’s dive into some of this research that you did. And let’s start with the history of birth control. Because I think that that is kind of an important foundation to set for some of the other things that we’re going to talk about where we are right now in this point in time.

Yeah. So even though some people seem to think the birth control is a new thing, it really is not. Methods of birth control has been around for basically as long as recorded human civilization. There were people using birth control in cultures in Mesopotamia in ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, they made comp condoms out of like, animal bladders, which gross or pieces of linen, which linen is a fabric that is breathable. So I don’t see how that even worked?

Probably not. Well, that’s probably not well,

but the point is that they were trying, yes, they also used plants and herbs as medicinal birth controls. And they actually had this plant that was called the silphium. I think I’m pronouncing that correctly. So Young plant. And that’s actually now extinct, I think. Partially because they were using it for all this medicines. The ancient Egyptians also used a combination of crocodile poop and fermented dough as a spermicide.

Which I feel

like led to like a lot of other problems. Because,

yeah, that, huh? Yeah. Yeah.

That makes me

I know, like just thinking about it. So these ancient methods weren’t necessarily effective. And in some cases, like this copper, salt water tonic that they used in ancient Greece, they were actually toxic,

but also, potentially, like the crocodile poop.

Yeah, I’m sure, or whatever, like, you could, there’s probably other diseases you could get from like, rubbing crocodile poop on yourself,


But the variety of these methods, and how long ago they were used, it points to the idea that preventing pregnancies is not new, it’s not something that people just suddenly came up with,

right? This is not just like, we got to, you know, 1950. And we were like, We don’t want to be pregnant anymore.

Right? It’s not like a crazy, like women’s lib thing,

women went to work, and now they don’t want to have babies. Like, it’s not, it’s not how that works, you guys know.

Um, so that goes on, you know, through that it kind of jumps in the history of it, where it kind of goes from ancient Greece to like, the slave industry times. Whereas in in between times that there was lots of other, you know, herbs being used, you see that a lot in like historical fiction been depicted. Granted, those are written now, so might have a little bit of embellishment. Sure. However, there is some truth to them. But during the slavery years, many, many, many way people thought it was perfectly fine to rape their slaves.


And so women turned to plants and herbs to prevent these unwanted pregnancies because Hi.

Yes, of course,

like why No, of course not. Right. But at the same time, like during these years, in the 1800s, the church and government officials were actively trying to prevent contraceptive methods. And many states have banned contraceptives completely by the 1840s.

there’s a there’s a lot to unpack. There’s a lot, there’s a lot to unpack there. There’s a lot of white supremacy, there’s a lot of misogyny, there’s just a lot was there’s a lot of zero separation between church and state.

I mean, just the fact that like, these men thought it was perfectly fine to do what they were doing. Right. And then they would basically, you know, they’d have children by these women, who then those children would then also be slaves,

right, because they didn’t take them in as their own. Right. They refuse to acknowledge that they were there children,

right. Like,

there’s a lot there’s a lot to unpack there.

And just

the fact that because the the church and the government would they were trying To prevent contraceptive methods like they were basically encouraging this practice. Yeah. Like there’s no really any other way about that. Right? They can I don’t know what they want to claim. Back then it was, you know, 1840s 1850s or whatever, but still, like, they clearly were fine with it because of the probably economy or some bullshit,

right? Well,

yeah. And racism.

I mean, racism.

It’s all I mean, it’s all tied together. Right. So even though states banned contraceptives, by the 1840s, the rubber condom is invented in 1855.

That’s interesting. Yeah.

But to like, bring it back down again. In 1873, the federal government passed this thing called the Comstock Act, which is basically all about declaring contraceptives to be obscene and elicit and make it a crime to send birth control through the postal system. That is wild, which, because in you know, 1875, there weren’t a lot of big cities, right. Probably a lot of people didn’t most people were still farmers back then. Like the only way to get things was through the postal system, right? Like we all read Little House in the Big was like, when Paul went to town to get the mail, it was like a big deal.

Right? Well, and like your average general store probably did not is not gonna carry condoms, newfangled. Like, oh, sorry, where’s your birth control section? Like, not a thing? No, it’s not.

And then abortion was banned in 1888.

And then,

it just gets worse. There’s there’s no upper here, you guys know,

it just keeps getting progressively worse. In 1907, the United States enacted policies that gave states the right to forcibly sterilized populations, quotes, like undesirables, like people who are mentally ill, or have learning disabilities, or minority any sort of disability sort of thing that that they were undesirable.

Sure. So Indiana

is the first day to do this. And then by 1929, there are 30 states that participate this in this. And as we all have come to know, it is still going on.

Yeah, you cannot.

At this point, if you are saying that this is not a thing that happens in the year 2020, you have not been paying enough attention. You are You are actively choosing to not pay attention and to ignore the reports of what is actively happening at our borders.

and wonder what that’s like, like to just be so. Oh, I didn’t hear about that.

Right. Such denial or in such lala land to be like, that’s not a thing that happens in 2020.

Yeah, or to just be like, I just don’t watch the news. Mm hmm.

Yeah, right.

I don’t know if someone knows, please tell us.

Because we’re confused.

Yeah, we’re confused. We’ll also probably judge you. So maybe don’t, you’d probably don’t want to tell us that maybe,

yeah. Keep it to yourself. If you have a family

member, if you have a few fictional friends, you want to share their story, please write in. Tell us what’s up.

So in the middle of the this whole forced sterilization thing, in 1914, Margaret Sanger, who was a nurse, she begins her crusade to make birth control, not a crime and available to everyone. So she opens a clinic and of course, she’s arrested and put on trial. But she gets a lot of publicity from being put on trial. And this helps her continue her cause, even though she’s arrested many more times. But in 1918, the New York State Court of Appeals rules in our favor, and declares that limitations on distributing birth control is unconstitutional, because hi don’t force women to have more babies than they want. But it wasn’t until 1936 that it was rule the concept act violated the Constitution. So so like 80 more years after they ruled in her favor. This law was like still going on, which is always wild to me. I mean, we know government moves slowly when they don’t want something to happen. But Jesus

18 years

excessive, y’all is very excessive. So in the 1950s, the first birth control pills were created, interestingly enough by men And the pills did not become widely available until the 1960s. And that’s when the Supreme Court overturned the ban of contraceptives for married couples who had been married to get birth control until 1972. And then you could get it to unmarried couples.

So now, there are many, many kinds of birth control. There’s the pill there shots, there’s IUD, there’s diaphragm, there’s, there was a patch run off, you still have the patch. So many things. There’s a lot of things. But it’s still controversial.

It’s still controversial. literally hundreds of years later, we’re still fighting about this. Yes. So okay. That it’s it’s a wild history, though. It’s a roller coaster ride. Mostly of downs.

Mostly downs. I went through that very quickly. But those are the I don’t want to say highlights. But main points, the

main the main points to hit obviously, yeah, obviously, there’s there’s a lot of things that are happening between, you know, ancient Greece and the 1800s. And then the 1800s to now but again, if we went through all of it, this would be like a 10 hour podcast. So hitting, hitting some of the main the main points. So we’re talking about birth control, I think it’s really important that we understand that birth control and the access to or lack of access to birth control effects, way more things than we think that it does laying. I think, particularly if you are not someone who has ever needed birth control.


you it was it’s very easy to think of birth control as the thing that keeps you from having babies. And that’s it. But the truth of it is that the use of birth control has actually been one of the largest drivers of female economic growth in United States. Because it gives us the ability to space out or choose not to have children. It allows women to finish school to get jobs to advance in the world. And interestingly enough, family planning, a lot of times is the only time a reason women see a doctor. But health care, the cost is astronomical. So depending on your economic situation, you may or may not have a family doctor that you’re going to see every year for physical and so for many women, their primary care doctor is actually their ob gyn or their parent Planned Parenthood clinic. Again, parent Planned Parenthood is very important.

Yeah, it’s it’s not abortion

is about they do so many things. They do so many things. And so when we look at the economic impact that birth control makes, it’s huge. We find that while people want to ban abortion, and they want to limit birth control provisions, the amount of care and support for women after they have a baby after a baby is in the world. That is extremely limited and the programs like WIC women, infant children are often in danger of being defunded. So we see these very staunch pro life, quote, pro life communities, actually, really at the end of the day being more pro birth.

Yeah, especially you see it, for sure. When it comes to not just WIC, but any sort of public funding, you know, first, like school funding is incredibly important. And most schools are very, very underfunded. Yes, especially in you know, inner city areas where they don’t have the money to lift up the school themselves. Like I lived in a school district that was very well off. And they still did, like, sell your crap fundraisers for the school.

Yeah, so they could buy whatever thing they needed to buy for the school because schools are basically across the board underfunded. And so instead of spending all this lobbying money that they’re trying to get against Planned Parenthood or against birth control, they could be directing it toward resources like clofranil clinics for people to be healthy so they don’t have to worry about possibly having babies that they don’t want or two schools to then teach those children or two To have better funded Food Bank so those children can eat. Like, it’s insane to me that your baby basically is not your baby until it’s born. Mm hmm. Like, if it’s inside of you like that’s the government’s baby.

Right. So it feels right. So

I, I think it’s also important when we’re talking about systemic issues like this, that we acknowledge that there are, there are people and industries that benefit from

all of these limitations. Mm hmm.

As an adoptive parent, and as someone who advocates for ethical adoption, I would be remiss to not mention adoption when we’re talking about this. Because the adoption industry as a whole, absolutely benefits from women not having access to birth control, or abortions or being able financially able to raise their babies. There. They there are absolutely. There are absolutely unethical adoption professionals who see what is happening as beneficial to them. And yet, we still villainize the women who choose to place their children for adoption when they do not feel that they have any other choice because of the systemic issues. Right. So we have created and by we, society, but again, the industry is so much behind this. And a lot of adoptive parents have fed into a lot of the propaganda that has been pumped into society that the women who choose to place their children for adoption, are not responsible. They don’t want their children. They don’t deserve to have their children there’s, there’s all of these narratives that we’ve been fed to to villainize these women who are making what they feel is the only choice that they can make to survive. When as my my good friend, Ashley Mitchell, who is one of the premier birth mom voices in the country, she points out all the time, when women are considering adoption for their child, often the pregnancy and that the baby, that’s like the, one of the smallest fires that they’re putting out. Because of all of these systemic issues. And you know, the lack of access to just healthcare in general mental health care, education funding, like everything feeds together. So when we talk about not having access to birth control, not having support for first, you know, single moms who are struggling, these things are all tied together, they’re all pieces of this, this greater picture. And it is really important to remember that all of these things feed together and that we have created this system where women don’t feel like they have another choice.

We’ve created a system where there’s, there’s no way to win. So the only way, there’s like one path that is okay, and that is you don’t have sex until you get married, and then you get married, and then you have a baby. And you have as many babies as possible at the end. Yes. And that is not the way life works at all. So if you are a single mom or a mom, that is, you know, living in poverty or something and you you get pregnant, you’re, you know, your choice is to have an abortion or give your baby up for adoption. And both of those things are seen as failing. But no one is like looking at you to figure out, like, how can we help this mother?


Like she’s the one like the goal is to not have more abortions, the goal is to not adopt out babies,

right? Ideally, if we lived in a perfect world, these things would not exist. Exactly. It just wouldn’t. And I know that that like, especially within the adoption community that upsets a lot of people when you say like in a perfect world adoption would not exist, but adoption is only it only comes out of brokenness, like again, as Ashley as always talks about, she’s like I wasn’t sitting in my high school guidance counselor’s office but you Like, I’d really like to be a birth mom someday. Like, this is not this was not what I planned for my life. But here I am. So, you know, it’s, it’s if you don’t, if you’re not fitting into this, you know, like perfect. What is painted is like this perfect picture, then we’ve said that you’re failing, but we’re also not going to help you in any way to do better like it’s just it’ll fucking sucks. So the other the other thing I also want to talk about I have like that was that was ranked number one for me.

The other thing I want to talk about

is that

birth there’s there’s a there’s so often a lack of access to birth control. But there’s also almost an opposite problem where birth control is very often overprescribed as almost like a panacea for all female fertility issues. Mm hmm. I, when I was 14, my family doctor suspected that I had endometriosis. And because there’s no other way to diagnose it, then surgically going in, you know, laparoscopic surgery that like freaked my parents out. And so I ended up on birth control for the next 10 or 11 years pretty much continuously. And this happens to a ton of women, I was on an account recently by a former foster youth. And she was talking about how she also has endometriosis, and had a very similar experience where the birth control was handed out. And it’s really just a band aid. It’s covering up the symptoms of what is actually going on, but it’s not actually fixing anything. So that then when you are 2526 years old, and you want to start a family, all of these issues have just been continuing to get worse without you knowing it because you’ve been on birth control all of these years, and now you got a real mess to deal with. Which was what, which was what my case was. I often think about it. And this is like one of those, like, if I had to go back and change it would I know because then I wouldn’t have my precious baby girl. But I often wonder like, what would have happened if I had gotten off the birth control and had a doctor who would listen to me sooner were if we cared enough about female fertility. Like, guys, there are so many treatments out there for erectile dysfunction.

But when it comes,

they’re in the frickin paper, like a newspaper,

literally ads on the radio. Everywhere you look, you’re like oh, more another erectile dysfunction ad. But like it honestly, it seems like there’s a new medication every week. But when it comes to female fertility, nobody cares enough to actually figure out what’s going on when it comes to the thing that is making more humans. were like, here’s some birth control, you’ll be fine. Mm hmm. So it’s a very interesting dichotomy where we have the absolutely no, never be on birth control. It is terrible. You know, stay abstinent until marriage, but then, you know, be very careful not to have babies if you’re not ready, Bull side. And then we have this other side that’s like, well, I don’t really know what’s going on with you, you’re having really bad periods. And really, that’s probably indicative of something worse going on. But I’m just going to put you on birth control because it’s easier than actually trying to diagnose what is happening with you when we can potentially fix it.

And when you’re a teenager, like you’ve only had your period for a few years, like you don’t know, like, it’s your doctor, you’re supposed to be able to trust your doctor to do the right thing.

Right. And like, I mean, I I had I only ever had terrible periods like my my husband after one of my my laparoscopic surgeries for the endo. Like he asked her, how long do you think she’s, she’s had endometriosis. And my doctor said probably from her first period when I was 12. So I have only ever had terrible periods. I literally didn’t know anything else. So I mean for me like going to birth control and just not Like taking it continuously and just not having periods was like kind of great because I don’t have to deal with the periods and I wasn’t crippled on the floor once a month. Like, that was fine. And my parents didn’t know, to fight for anything else. And honestly, I think at that point, we had a really great doctor, but I don’t think at that point she knew to fight for anything else. Mm hmm. And we are just woefully under preparing our future doctors to deal with this. I’ve said so many doctors that like they have no idea when it comes to female fertility and any sort of issues around that they have absolutely no idea. They have no idea. I mean, I have been to ob gyn so it is literally their job. And they’re like, probably just fine. Like they don’t get when it comes to infertility or any issues whatsoever. They have absolutely no idea.

Well, sure, for you, too. I’m sure they’re like, Oh, well, you’re young. So you can’t possibly have problems because that only happens to older women.

Yes. Yep. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I, I used to think all the time. And when we were still trying to get pregnant. It was it. It was a major frustration is still a major frustration point just for the just because but I would just cry because I’m like, what, what? What if I had gotten a doctor to listen to me sooner? Hmm, what if I had when I was 21? Or 22? What if I had gotten a doctor to actually listen to me when I was like, I feel like there’s something going on here. Instead of being like, Ah, you’re probably fine. Just take your birth control, you’re fine. Like, could I have saved myself an eight hour surgery? Like, could could? There’s so I there’s so many like, what if questions that again, it’s like a moot point to even go down the path because it’s like choosing a life that I can’t even have predicted for the life that I have now, with my beautiful family. But if they’re still like, there’s a frustration in me, there’s like a fire in me that just I it makes me so angry that we just don’t care enough about female fertility, to look into it and to figure it out.

So Stephie Why is there not more birth control for men?

All right, listeners, sit with me on the count of 3123. The patriarchy.


yeah. So it must be because women give birth. So it’s our responsibility.

It’s all they come at the baby comes out of us.

Right? Of course. So for some reason, I mean, we’re responsible for everything else. Does that pile another thing on top of the list? Mm hmm. I mean, so like they have basically the only contraceptive that men have is a condom.


And I’m pretty sure every single woman out there listening, probably some men to have had partners that were just like, oh, but it doesn’t just feel it feels doesn’t feel good to wear a condom. Right? And you’re like, feel good. I’m sorry. Is that the sound of the tiniest violin

playing for you like my guy, you’re still gonna come you are.

There’s very little chance that they’re not going to.

I’m sorry, but I don’t care.

So there have been clinical trials of male birth control. There have been some pretty recently actually. But Surprise, surprise. Men weren’t willing to deal with the side effects,


let’s just talk about the side effects of birth control for a second.

Yeah, like literally everything.


nausea. High

blood pressure, vomiting, weight gain, fever, probably rashes. Mm hmm. irrational behavior, suicidal thoughts. Probably actually death.


right, and we and we do it we we still do it females we do it. Mm hmm. Because we have a choice. Yep. But, you know, we all know about the man flu.

It’s true.

And this is the this is the medical version of man flu.

They might get a little sick, stuffy.

The black lung. The

problem we have with this, to be honest, is that they did like two studies. And they were complaining about the side effects. And so they just stopped doing it. Like, they just stopped studying these medications.

We did we we

magan. We tried. We tried and we failed.

We tried it a little bit. And now we can just tell people that we tried. So easy for efforts.

Oh, man, but like Megan, why don’t people just like not have sex? Oh,

my gosh, what a great idea. That totally works.

I am. Yeah, just teaching abstinence is like, absolutely a thing that works. It’s like scientifically proven.

I have friends. So we just moved out of Texas, obviously. And I have friends who grew up in Texas, and they would went to high school junior high school in Texas. And they had abstinence only education. And their, their basic thing was that they they signed a piece of paper saying that they would not have sex until they were married. And I was like that was your sex ed. They’re like, pretty much I’m like,

Yeah, I just watch. It seems like they have a lot to say we’ll talk about this sometime. I have a lot to say about the purity movement.

It seems like a really good way to make sure that nobody is educated. Make sure that they can track communicable diseases, yes. And not prepare them at all for consequences down the road. And also take away the idea of pleasure because sex is about pleasure. Right? And it’s not only about procreation. Have you seen the animals in the world?

Have you been to a dog park?

Like, come on?

My female dog? Seriously? Yes. Guy. It’s just

she’s fixed. It’s not like, she’s gonna have babies?

No. It’s just not like they would you know, she wasn’t fixed, like her being on top not doing anything. Anything can happen? happening, but it’s just I’m like, yeah, also.

And again,

it’s such a frustrating argument, because it’s so it’s so much like the desire to ban abortion? Mm hmm. Well, the conversation so often comes down to either There is everything or there is nothing. We are either not having sex, or you’re clearly just going to have all the sex. And we’re clearly just going to teach our young children that they should be having orgies at the age of like, 12. Like, that’s what it’s, it’s like, they’re saying, you know, it’s like, either we’re gonna have no abortions, or just obviously everyone is just going to immediately run out and get an abortion. And, first of all, that’s not the case. No, but also the flip side, and what we need to be looking at is, okay, so you don’t want young people having crazy sex. So you don’t want people to have abortions. So you don’t want people to have or need abortions. There are so many other things that we could be doing, that is actually fixing the problem. That is when we’re looking at it.

That is

the for example, abortion is a it’s a it’s a symptom of a greater problem. But we are actually wanting to take a look at what it what else is happening. So instead, we say absolutely no abortion instead of saying why are people seeking abortions? I don’t know. Maybe because we’re teaching abstinence only education and limiting access to their birth control. Maybe because we’re not preparing our young people from the jump for any of this. Maybe because we don’t provide assistance for mothers and parents in crisis. Like, they’re all of these other things that we could be doing that would that would bring down the need for so many of these other things. But instead, we’re like, now we’re just gonna say absolutely everything. illegal. Yep.

And it’s also like the goes back to the fact that like the birth control is on the responsibility of the woman. Yes. When everyone says, Oh, well just don’t have sex,

like, Are you

asking men to not have sex? Right? Like because you know that men are not going to not have sex,

please refer back to the section where we talked about the 18 hundred’s and how men acted with their slaves. But yeah.

People were frequently raped and forced to have babies. And whether people acknowledge it or not women and young girls, young girls, as you said, You got your period when you were 12. Yes. are raped at an alarming rate and forced to have babies of their rapists. Yes, people think that it doesn’t happen, but it happens all a lot. Mm hmm. And is infuriating to me. And the thing is that even if you say, Oh, well, we don’t want to, we want to make abortions illegal. Okay, well, it doesn’t mean they’re gonna not happen. Right? The only thing that is going to happen is that they will then go back to the clandestine doctor’s offices, they will be back alley like people will die because of it because they will not be able to have

proper care. Yes,

because people will be desperate. What happens when women need to have abortions is that they are desperate to have a solution in their life. They are they don’t know where else to go.

Yeah, again, I know I’ve mentioned Ashley like 1000 times, but part of her story, and I’ll link to her Instagram profile. Because if if this is of any interest to you at all her story is she’s she’s amazing. And her story is incredible. But she talks all the time about how she just needed to not be pregnant. Mm hmm. Like she grew up in the church. She grew up in the Mormon Church like she is a woman of faith. But she knew that she would rather face God with an abortion on her than face her church with an unwed pregnancy. And so she actually she did seek out an abortion. And she was two weeks too late. And then was like, Well, now I don’t have a choice. What do I do, and then she chose to make an adoption plan. But she often says like, I just needed to not be pregnant. And I can’t tell you how many stories of other birth moms I have heard that same or similar thing from

like, they just, they needed to not be pregnant.

And it’s not something that people should be shamed for.

They’re not again, like nobody is out here.

When they’re 12, being like, I think someday be a great thing. Like, that’s not how it works. When I’m

older, I’m gonna get me an abortion, right. It’s

like, know how it works. And we need to have next week we’re gonna, I’m like, next week, we’re gonna talk about mental health stigma. So spoiler alert for the end of this episode, where we talk about what is coming up next week about mental health stigma and there but again, like there’s so much stigma around so many health issues, mental health and women’s health issues.


we’re so quick to judge people. We’re so and I mean, like, Listen, Megan and I are some judgy bitches. But like, we were gonna judge you for weird things, but like, we need to have some compassion for our neighbors. Mm hmm. Like, we need to understand that decisions made in crisis are just that they are having decisions made in crisis. That doesn’t mean that the person who has made that decision isn’t going to regret it later. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to wish that they had made a different choice, or that they had the option to make a different choice or whatever. But we need to take a step back and recognize that there are so many reasons why women choose anything that they choose with their bodies. And we just need to sit down and shut up about it.

Yeah. And if you are not willing to shut up about it, then focus that energy on making sure that those women Not in a crisis. Yes. focus your energy on promoting education among women and families and teenagers about birth control insects and what exactly lies ahead of them in life. Like, I mean, just thinking about back in high school where we so we had sex ed in high school, but also, they don’t really teach you like, life skills. No, like, teach you, they teach you certain things, but they’re not like, when you get out of college, you are gonna have to pay your bills,

right? I do remember learning how to write a check in high school, which already we my mom had taught me that long.

I think they I think my government teacher, I think he taught us how to fill out a 1040 ez. But all but like, day to day survival? No, is not something that schools are teaching. Listen, I could have used a class on how insurance works. Oh, God, I can still use a class and how insurance works.

Right? Like who wants to teach me insurance? one on one.

It’s open enrollment, right now you read those things? You’re just like, I don’t know what any of this means. It’s terrible. I think just in general, I think there just needs to be better support.

Across the board. Yes.

And I think if we are able to get back to like, the basics of supporting each other, and that way, then you can begin to address the the root causes of why women have to have birth control, and why they have to end up having abortions. And it’s just so frustrating to see people arguing opposite.

Yes, it is because

we should all be in this together.

Yeah. And again, you know, as an adoptive parent who cares very much about her child and adult adoptees, and birth parents and my child’s birth parents. It’s exceedingly infuriating. When I see the arguments come to Well, you could just, you know, there’s those children, we could just adoption, that’s the solution. It’s not adoption is not the magic solution to any of this. And it should not be. And I say that as someone who became a parent through adoption, like, I am the beneficiary in my triad. And I am still here to tell you, it is not the solution to any of this, like, Oh, just look at all these babies that need homes like no, this is not. Absolutely not. So we have to shut down that narrative. Because it is that again, that is this narrative that is pumped out particularly by a very specific subset of people. And it’s just not an okay narrative, and it’s very hurtful. It’s very, very hurtful for adult adoptees and birth parents to see that peddled as well.

Oh, adoptions. Wow,

like that’s we have to stop that. We have to and we have to stop saying wow I’m just so glad they didn’t abort that baby like that’s just not they’re not it’s not adoption is not the opposite of abortion is not the solution for anything, any of this like stop it and again, I will link to some folks in the show notes and our quick links that you can take a deeper dive into some of some of their accounts on Instagram in particular if you want to understand a little bit more about that the adoption side of things I have some friends that have done some really great posts about that but that’s a whole that’s a that’s probably an entire another episode worth of tirade for me

I’m being really honest. Yeah.

So I wish that we had like a I know that I know that often. When we when we have these kind of ranty episodes we often have like a So what now? And I wish that I had like a So what now For this

I don’t have one either.

And I don’t have one and maybe a lot of it. So as we are recording this, Amy Coney Barrett was

instated to the Supreme Court last night.

The day that this comes out is election day. So things are hard right now, like I neither of us are gonna sugarcoat that, that reality, it’s scary, and it’s hard.

And I think a lot of people if they are thinking that it’s not gonna affect them in a negative way, and it will somehow there are ways that it will creep into your life. It might not be you but you know, and you probably have other people in your life that are affected by this.


yeah, it feels feels kind of bleak right now,

it does feel bleak, it does feel like because again, it’s not just about when we’re when we’re talking about birth control, we’re not just talking about women. choosing not to have children, becomes a health ish issue. Like as much as I just ranted earlier about how birth control is often overprescribed for female health and fertility issues, there are often times when it is actually very, very unnecessary. for any number of reasons, whether it really is the best option to keep someone’s debilitating symptoms under control. Or there could be a very life threatening reason for them to not get pregnant. Like, there are so many times when birth control is medically necessary. And it’s not just about oh, I don’t want to have a kid yet. It is truly medically necessary. And so it is not. This is not as simple as, quote, simple and quotes, simple as, Oh, I do or don’t want to have a baby. It is a health issue. And when you are talking about a health issue, then you’re talking about a human rights issue.

Yeah, and it’s also a huge economic issue too, because we’re we talked earlier about how the availability of birth control has been a way for women to bring themselves up in society.


for a lot of low income populations, that has not been the case, because it’s been harder for them to get birth control. They are in jobs, where it’s less likely they’re going to have birth control covered. So they’re not gonna be able to pay for it either through insurance or out of pocket. They’re in a society that is sort of made it so they are forced into pregnancies, and they’re not able to bring themselves out of that economic status. Yeah. And it’s just a really bad cycle. Yep.

Yep, it’s it’s cyclical, and it’s systemic and

are in this the system is set up to fail these women. Mm hmm. It is set up to fail these women and their children.

That’s and that’s just that’s it. And

yes, there are so often there are fathers involved who are very actively involved. But in many, many cases, it is set up to feel the women and their children, and the men are not being in it set up to not hold the men accountable for anything.

Yep. So

I don’t I don’t again, I don’t this in this portion of just of the episode. Before we get to joy. I don’t have any like, happy note to end on because I don’t know what’s gonna happen. And it’s very scary. But I think it is important for us to talk about

Yeah, I don’t think it does any good to brush it under the rug. I think it’s something that definitely needs to be talked about more. I don’t, I mean, I don’t have daughters, but

if I

did, I would definitely be talking about I am going to talk about the limited amount of male birth control. I can with my sons, but also explained to them the importance of birth control in general.


And I will also just add if, if you haven’t voted yet today,

go vote,

you can still there’s still time, this episode will drop in the morning, there is time today to go vote.

You’re in line when the polls close, you can still vote

Yeah, delete. Remember voting episode, don’t leave the line, don’t move until they have taken your vote. I guess the thing that I will say, you know, like you just said, Megan, like, you’re gonna teach your children we will, we will be teaching Eden.

Everything that we can.

Having those hard conversations,

I think that

if, again, like, as we’ve mentioned in previous episodes, even though there sometimes feels like a limited amount that you can do, you can still tell your elected representatives, what’s important to you, you still have the opportunity to write to them, and, or call them and say, Hey, this is important to me, as your constituent, you can also you have the opportunity to start changing the narrative, and it can start in your own home. So starting with your children, starting with your parents, even if you have older generation parents. And, you know, if you’re at Thanksgiving, and somebody starts spouting off some stuff, that’s just not true. Toss back the rest of your glass of wine. And you have the opportunity to well, actually them. And to have those hard conversations, I think we so often just avoid hard conversations with our family members. But I also think that we’re heading into a time where

it’s almost dangerous,

not to have hard conversations.

I mean, I think it’s part of the reason why we got where we are,

Mm hmm. So we can start changing the narrative and changing people’s understandings with our own home, within our own homes, with our extended families. And it doesn’t have to be like you don’t have to be rude about it. But if somebody’s saying something that is not factual, or that is harmful to a subset of the population, there’s nothing wrong with politely gently correcting them, or not politely correcting them, though, they’re probably more likely to listen to you if you’re nice. So there are things that we could do even on a small level. And I think that it starts, it can start to change how society looks at things, but we have to be willing to have hard conversations and be a little bit uncomfortable. See, the only way that we can make real change is to

be willing to be a little uncomfortable at times.

Mm hmm.

So that’s, that’s where I will leave it. I don’t know if you have anything else to add. But


On that note,

What’s bringing us joy?

let’s say that, let’s actually end on an upper. You know how we always have to? Let’s talk about joy we need we need to talk about something happy. So Megan, what’s bringing you joy this week?

Um, so aside from finally getting carpeting

with you.

So I mentioned last week that I was playing Breath of the Wild on the switch. Uh huh. And I’m really bad at it, but I’m getting better and better. And it’s really fun. And I learned how to ride a horse hot

that’s very good in the game. You have

to train it, so it listens to you.

I guess that’s important.

But then you can you can take it to a stable and you register your horse.


because they’re, they’re like wild horses and you have to catch one first basically, and there’s a lot involved here. You can register your wild horse and you get a saddle for it. And you can name it.

And I named my horse Derrick.

Why? I couldn’t think of anything else. And I was like, Derek.

So not every time I’m gonna play Breath of the Wild, I love my horse, Derek and I will think of the good place and it will make me laugh every time.

I was doing some research. So I think I’ve mentioned before I do some freelance food writing and stuff, and I was doing some SEO research on baked apples. And the other day, and this kept the search term kept popping up baked apples. Btw, I was like, What the fuck is that? And of course, I had to search it. And it turns out, it’s from Zelda Breath of the Wild or whatever. I guess there’s these baked apples in the game. I, of course, I don’t play so I don’t understand everything in it. But I was like, well, this is wild. Because there were people that were like legitimately searching for like, what is this Breath of the Wild baked Apple recipe?

I mean, the baked Apple recipe and Breath of the Wild is literally an apple that you throw in the fire.

I think people were like it. They were legitimately like searches or like, search terms popping up where people were clearly searching for the recipe. And again, I don’t totally know the I don’t know the context of their searches. Like were they looking to make them in real life? Where they were looking for more information on how to do them in the game? Like, I don’t I don’t know the context, but it was it was like a wild discovery for me. I immediately texted you and I was like, this is the thing I just learned is the thing. What

I bet that there’s probably recipes out there now for like all of the rest the the non because there are some other non weird recipes in there that are like hot peppers and mushrooms and meat. Oh,

there’s absolutely like a bootleg Zelda cookbook.

Yeah, I’m for sure there is. But that game has been pretty fun. Max likes to watch me play. And there’s this thing that you learn where you like can throw an energy bomb to like blow things up with like an energy bomb.

me sometimes to

well kills you. But um, I was fighting these monsters and I like, set one of them on fire. But then he ran over to his friend and his friend killed us. And we were just like sitting there. Laughing their butts off. It was

really funny.

They’re really dumb monsters, but

clearly not the brightest

is giving us a lot of joy. I mean, my horse Derek.

Oh, Derek.

Yeah, it’s amazing. He does have some. He does have black hair, actually.

Oh, let’s see man is back. There.

What are you bringing? What is bringing you joy? Uh, so I went to the dentist today, which was wild in the time of COVID. Um, but I have dental insurance and so I was getting you know, it’s getting towards the end of the year and I didn’t want to like waste having dental insurance. So like, I better go to the dentist because it’s free. Um, so I went to the dentist today. And you know, the the dental hygienists always, like make conversation with you, which usually annoys me because I’m like, You’re in my mouth. I can’t carry on this conversation with you. But my dental hygienist was she was she was delightful. And she, we were talking and she’s pretty close to my mom, my mom’s age, how old my mom would have been. Her name is Julie, which was my mom’s name. And then as we’re talking, we find out we both really like to bake and we both really like to make pies. And she makes her own pie crust. And I could tell from talking to her like from the conversation like she legit like she legitimately does make her own pie crust like she knows what she’s doing. And it was it’s just very rare. Not a lot of people like to make pies or like to make pie crust because a lot of people find it to be a real pain in the ass. And I love it and my mom loved it. And so it was just like weirdly delightful to have this conversation with someone who had my mother’s name is real close to my mother’s age and also really liked to make pie like I didn’t tell dental hygienists Julie any of this connection. Because I didn’t want to be like super weird like my dead mother was also named Julian love to make pie. Like I don’t want to be super weird, but it was just it was a very lovely little conversation and I just, I don’t know, I just it warmed my heart a little bit like very sweet. Yeah, have that conversation about Thanksgiving pies and I don’t know, you know, all that stuff. So That was that that was that brought me some joy throughout my day.

That sounds very nice. I also I have healthy teeth. Well, I mean that’s if you don’t have your health you don’t have anything.

Next week’s episode

Well, next week, we will ironically be talking about mental health stigma.

So while mental health is getting more noticed these days, there’s definitely still some misconceptions misconceptions around it. Join us back here next week as we discuss some personal experiences with a special guest. In the meantime, leave us a review on Apple podcasts and listen to us on your favorite platform. You can also follow us on social media at irsipodcast or send us an email at We’d love to hear from our listeners.


Transcribed by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.