Let’s Talk About the Cost of Birth Control

Because a lot of us have probably seen that “bring me one woman” quote.

Photo credit: Monik Markus, CC BY 2.0.

If you’ve been on Twitter—or the news—recently, you might have seen something like this:

“Bring me one woman” is a reference to a ThinkProgress interview from 2012, held at the Conservative Political Action Conference and captured on video:

In case you can’t watch the video right now, ThinkProgress also has the transcript:

House Republican Leader Price: ‘There’s Not One Woman’ Who Doesn’t Have Access To Birth Control

KEYES: Obviously one of the main sticking points is whether or not contraception coverage is going to be covered health insurance plans and at hospitals and whether or not they’re going to be able to pay for it, especially for low-income women. Where do we leave these women if this rule is rescinded?

PRICE: Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one. The fact of the matter is, this is a trampling of religious freedom and religious liberty in this country. The president does not have the power to say that your First Amendment rights go away. That’s wrong.

To be fair, 2012 was a long time ago. People can change—although that does not yet appear to be the case with Rep. Price.

But I was paying for birth control back in 2012, or at least the first half of it. I went back and checked my emails, and there’s this email from August 2012 where I tell the guy I’m dating that my birth control is finally free thanks to the ACA. Prior to that I was paying out-of-pocket costs every month even though I had health insurance, and it’s a little hard to remember exactly how much I was paying because it would change sometimes, and my birth control provider’s website would offer coupons which I had to print out and take to the pharmacy, but it was expensive enough that I wouldn’t have gone on birth control had I not been in a long-term relationship. (Before the LTR I was following the advice I had heard on My So-Called Life: “use a condom and a sponge.”)

Anyway. The point is that birth control was not cheap, prior to the Affordable Care Act; it was the kind of thing where you would search websites hoping to find a coupon before you had to get your next prescription filled.

So, to directly address Rep. Price’s request to “bring me one woman who has been left behind,” which I will modify to “bring me one person” because birth control is not just a women’s issue, let’s have a conversation about the costs of contraception and whether we’re worried about being left behind/quickly making that IUD appointment/etc.

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