I’m 80 years old, a mother of four, and a grandmother of five, and because of the birth control pill, I was able to have both a fulfilled career and a happy family life.

When I was in my early 20’s, I had a tumor on one of my ovaries and had to have the ovary removed. It was in the early 1960s. Recently developed, I was put on the birth control pill to save my other ovary. It also liberated me to not worry about having children when I wasn’t ready for them. In the early 60s, access to contraception was challenging to obtain, and abortion was illegal.

Two of my friends, also in their 20s, without access to birth control, became pregnant and had botched illegal abortions, which affected the rest of their lives in extremely negative ways. To have those days return would be a nightmare for women.

Because I was on the pill, I was able to control my fertility and build an exciting career as a journalist. At the age of 35, I married a fellow journalist and, in quick succession, had four sons. Because I had built a sound reputation within the organization, my bosses gave me time off to have the babies and also let me continue working – first part-time and then full-time. I ended my career as a White House Correspondent, working in the White House press area covering the Clinton and Bush administrations.

All women should be able to decide their own futures. I’m horrified by attempts at the federal and state levels across the United States to weaken or reverse the laws and policies that allowed me and generations of women that followed to control their reproductive lives.