Just a Few Dollars? The True Cost of Birth Control
Between Rick Santorum who suggested it costs “just a few dollars,” Senator Ron Johnson who said “any woman in America can get free contraceptives,” and Rep. Tom Price who said that “not one” woman doesn’t have access to contraception in the United States, you’d think birth control was being handed out as freely as candy on Halloween. And in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
What many don’t realize (perhaps due to the blatant mischaracterization by politicians like Rick Santorum) is that birth control can cost upwards of $600 dollars per year. Add those numbers up over the total number of childbearing years, and well, let’s just say the numbers aren’t pretty, even with health insurance.
Here is the reality:
Women of reproductive age spend 68 percent more on out-of-pocket health care expenses than men.
- One in three women voters has struggled to afford birth control at some point in her life.
- More than half of young women (55 percent) experienced a time when they couldn’t afford birth control on a regular basis.
- 99 percent of sexually active women use birth control—regardless of race, age, or religion.
- 58 percent of women who use the pill use it for reasons other than pregnancy prevention.
As we’ve been saying for some time, birth control is not just a health issue, it’s an economics issue. So it comes as no surprise that 67% of Americans do not believe employers should be allowed to deny health care coverage based on their beliefs. And it’s no wonder nearly three in four voters support insurance coverage of birth control. It’s basic, if not necessary, preventive care.
Curious as to how much you (or someone you care about) will spend on birth control over her lifetime? Check out this awesome calculator by Mother Jones!