Wednesday, October 24, 2007

talk about hitting me where it really hurts

As someone who works at a college and volunteers at a family planning/abortion clinic, things like this really piss me off.

Millions of women who purchase contraceptives at student and community health clinics across the country have seen prices go from about $10 a month to anywhere between $30 and $50. Such out-of-reach prices are putting intense financial stress on women who can’t afford to pay retail for birth control.

We tell students things like "Don't spend too many hours per week working. You should be focusing on school." Realistically, they have a lot of things on their minds, including dating/sex. Coursework is only part of what goes on at colleges. So, if we tell them focus on their school work and they don't work, how are they supposed to afford any birth control for the free time they do have.

Among college undergraduate women, some 3 million of them (39 percent) use oral contraceptives, while others use NuvaRing, the contraceptive patch and other forms of birth control, according to the American College Health Association [...]

For many women, changing birth control methods or makes is not easy. NuvaRing and the patch have no generic alternatives, and women are often reluctant to switch brands of oral contraceptives after finding a good fit without undesirable side effects.

I actually lost track of how many different ones I tried before I found one I really loved (Yasmin). And, I had to be taken off of that because of how it reacted with the amount of ibuprofin I took daily for joint pain. I'm back on one I tried in high school or early college, and as they greatly affect my moods, I had to double my zoloft dose when I made the switch off Yasmin.

The soaring costs are the result of an obscure provision in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 that stripped away a long standing incentive encouraging drug companies to provide steeply discounted birth control to certain low-cost health-care providers. The law took effect in January, forcing many health clinics across the country to ratchet up their prices

It sucks when the federal deficit has such a hard hit on women who don't have much money.
In every year he has held office, Bush has sought to freeze Title X funding, which pays basic operating costs at more than 4,500 family planning clinics serving millions of low-income women. [...] In fact, taking inflation into account, Title X funding is now 61 percent lower than it was in 1980, according to the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association. Had funding levels merely kept up with inflation, clinics would now receive more than $725 million a year; instead, Bush wants to freeze Title X funds at last year’s $283 million level.

And, if you're not yet outraged enough, how about this:
In 2002, the Department of Defense approved a plan to make emergency contraception (EC) available at all military treatment facilities, but political appointees later reversed the decision. And in 2004, the Department of Justice did not include EC in its recommendations for treating sexual-assault victims—an omission [Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)] calls intentional.

I just... wow...

This must be how my brother feels when he argues with people about religion. I'm constantly shocked and appalled by the lack of common sense people exhibit when it comes to family planning issues. (And, it's often so directly related to what my brother's arguing...keeping religion separate from everything else, especially government.)

*sigh* Full text here.

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