There a lot that’s surreal about the recent debate over birth control coverage. For one: the timing. It’s 2012 and news stories about birth control in the U.S. have to include a reminder that 99% of heterosexually active women have used it. You’ve got Fox news saying liberals support birth control “to get rid of the poor” and the American Life League warning of a slippery slope towards forced consumption of the Pill.
In an avalanche of crackpot myths about contraception, I’m especially infuriated by the conservative idea that IUDs grow on trees and birth control pills rain down from the skies. Georgia Rep. Tom Price says that “not one woman” has ever been denied access to birth control because she could not afford it and Rick Santorum claims birth control is “just a few dollars.”
The Center for American Progress offers a reminder that will probably come as no surprise to anyone besides clueless dudes and GOP politicians: Birth control costs a good chunk of change.
I know conservatives like to pretend that poor people don’t exist in this country, but you don’t even have to look that far to find plenty of women who struggle with the cost of birth control. A couple dozen such women (including me) recently shared their experiences at GOOD. And we’re the privileged ones. Surveys have show that many women–especially young women–have used their birth control inconsistently or put off a doctor’s visit because they couldn’t afford it. That’s exactly why the Institute for Medicine recommended offering no co-pay coverage to begin with.