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The Missing Element in the Birth Control Debate

Updated on March 4, 2012

The key element missing is cost and how this influences a woman's choice in choosing birth control devices. Russ Limbaugh, I think we all can agree, is a jerk. He does it for ratings, which he gets and then apologizes. The Republican party only disagree about what words he used but not the overall theme.

Should religious employers provide birth control options to its women employees, free of charge?

Whatever you decide, it comes down to cost. It always does. Condom's cost around $1 that could easily be given out, while an IUD runs $800+. Big Difference! Most employer's medical coverage for employees will cover certain types of birth control and many require co-pay, few actually provide it free. In August, medical plans will be required to cover birth control FDA approved for no co-pays, or free. Of course, religious zealots state this is against their belief and it is government intrusion. Well, only if the church is also an employer who hires those from different faiths and beliefs. Obama then modified it so that women employees of religious employers would not be forced to do it but allow the woman to get it from a medical insurer without any co-pay, or free.

Most women use the pill, hormonal implants and IUDs account for less than 6%. However, if price was not an issue, most women would elect the IUD, in a study of 10,000 women in 2007. But the pill is much cheaper and 92% effective. IUD's are 100% effective. Women that choose the hormonal shots every three months pay a co-pay of $20, depending on the health plan.

Thus, the IUD and hormonal methods are 100% effective and can be so for up to 10 years, yet the initial price is costly and if the medical plan does cover it, the co-pay will be hefty. The long term contraceptives up front range from $500-1000, yet last for many years, which in the long run is cheaper. The pill costs range from $25-75 a month, depending on your plan and type of pill.


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    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      If we are using our medical insurance, how is contraception being provided free? For most of us it's being paid for through insurance premiums, just like the rest of our health care. BTW most women who are using contraception are not teenagers (@katherine addressed the issue of teen pregnancy, not unwanted or unplanned pregnancy).

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 5 years ago from Taos, NM

      Interesting article! Most of our debates are because of economics and contraception does not surprise me as one. Money drives everything in this country.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      @katherine- your last sentence or two is shocking, so even with free contraceptives, the pregnancy rate in the UK is high. That seems to then support the argument not to provide it free or at all.

    • profile image

      KatrineDalMonte 5 years ago

      Wow, this is an interesting article. I had no idea in the USA birth control is not FREE. Here in the UK, women have a wide choice of free contraceptive options under the NHS (National Health Services). That includes pills, IUDs, IUSs, implants, hormonal shots etc. However, taking into the consideration this fact, we are still one of the top countries with the highest rate of teenage pregnancies. Enjoyed your article and voted up.

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      The economics is definitely an issue for employers. It is considerably cheaper to provide birth control than cover the cost of prenatal visits, testing, ultrasounds, vitamins, giving birth, hospital stays and time off at work. The cost difference was the motivation for the mandate that birth control be provided. We would like to believe it is has something to do with women's rights or to support women's right to take control over their bodies but it's really just financial. As far as the religious employer debate goes, that has a whole different motivation all together and could definitely fill a Hub of it's own. :)

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 5 years ago from Iowa

      Birth Control is such an over simplified phrase. Many elements effect the final objective of minimizing procreation. If it weren't for the instinct of Males to copulate for the most part, Pleasure, and the female to allow the male to copulate to fulfill her ultimate objective of sustaining the species, everything would be quite a bit simpler.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      I respect the conclusions you have reached and found your hub to be interesting.

      I would say that I disagree that the cost of birth control is the only element missing from the debate as I believe many people are forgetting that most of the time it is women who take the responsibility for contraception even though they are only 50 percent of the equation in a male-female sexual relationship.

      Voted up and SHARED.