Free Birth Control: 5 Places to Spend Those Savings Outside of Your Womb

Birth control pills, for the low, low price of nothing.
For hating on your babymaker so hard, the government sure is spending a lot of time down there. Just ask Planned Parenthood: There's a lot of womb-shaming here in Texas. But finally, finally, a governmental body may start meddling on behalf of our collective uterus.

Yesterday, a group of medical experts known as the Institute of Medicine recommended to the U.S. Department of Health that all health insurance plans pay for birth control pills. In full. By law.

These shockingly pro-woman (two words that have not been hyphenated in a long time) recs came after Obama asked the Institute of Medicine, which is not politically affiliated, to develop a list of health services they believe should be fully covered as preventative care under the Affordable Care Act.

If Obama accepts the recommendations, this will be big news for women. Can you imagine a world where contraception is your paid-in-full right? We know what we'd do with that extra $10-$30 a month:

A toast to another fetus-free month.
5. Cristal, Now That You're Too Rich To Be Ballin' On A Budget
Birth control wasn't the only covered cost proposed in the plan that would rock your womb. IOM recommended that insurers also pay for all prescription contraceptives, contraceptive counseling, annual STI counseling, HIV screening, lactation consulting, breast-feeding equipment and HPV testing.

So break open the piggy bank you've been setting aside for your eventual abortion (hey, one out of three ladies get one in their lifetime), because your odds of an unwanted pregnancy are drastically lower if the new recs are passed.

With all that money saved, you'll finally have access to really expensive shit. Pop the aphrodisiacal Cristal, because this is truly a celebratory moment for women everywhere -- one that can translate into more and safer sex.

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You're now free to pee.
4. STI Testing
But just because parts of your ladypart are taken care of doesn't mean all of it is. Once you kiss all those co-pays goodbye, there will finally be enough money in your budget to afford labial luxuries:

-- A comprehensive test for all STIs. The rate of infection for Chlamydia, the most widespread STD in the U.S., is almost three times higher than that of men. Also scary: Women are less likely to exhibit STI symptoms than men.
-- Home tests for urinary tract infections, should you forget your postcoital tinkle.
-- Some yogurt to cure that pesky yeast infection.

What? The government is practically begging us to gender-bend.
3. Somethin' Manly
Now that you pay next to nothing out of pocket for your reproductive health, bask in the dignity that has been restored to your genitals. It's an unfamiliar feeling. What is it, exactly? Is this what it feels be a man?

Grab a strap-on and head to bed. Since the sexual health world has gone all role-reversal, why shouldn't you?

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Condoms for all.
2. Pity Condoms
Not everyone will be thrilled by your newfound reproductive rights. Sex is a choice! Why are we paying for promiscuity? The devil sprinkles birth control pills in her breakfast cereal!

It's not even worth reasoning with these turkeys. Instead, allocate the money you would have dumped at the pharmacist's counter to a different aisle: family planning. Buy a box of condoms for your closest Republican friend, and tell him to stick that Yaz in his pipe and smoke it. When nobody's watching, you bet he and the missus will draw enough inspiration from their bratty, misguided kids to use 'em.

Indulge a little.
1. Fancifuls For Your Ladybits
All these years you've been treating your procreation patch as a money-eating machine. After the pills, the STD tests and the gyno bills, it's hard to remember all the good times you had. Doesn't your babymaker deserve some luxury after being treated with such utility?

For starters, a week's worth of Vajazzle designs equals one pill pack. A six-month membership to the panty-of-the-month club? A mere three pill packs. And that Groupon you've been craving for laser hair removal = 4 pill packs.

Soon, your vagina could be reciting a whole different monologue.

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I think this should cover the cost of a vasectomy for men as well, but I suppose that is a different debate.

From a dollars perspective, I'm surprised that the government and health insurance companies haven't already been doing this all along.  What is the cost for a health insurance company for a woman to give birth and raise a child?  Prenatal care and labor/delivery of the child is expensive even if everything goes 100% smoothly.  Caring for a healthy child until age 18 (or 25, yikes) is also expensive, not to mention the cost of health problems in childhood.

If I were an insurance company, I would look at the average cost of bringing a child from the prenatal care stage through at least age 17 in today's dollars vs how much you bring in in premiums.  If the average cost is greater than that of the premium, offer free birth control and vasectomies (don't pay for the reversal though).  In the end the company will come out ahead.  In my opinion, this should be a matter of dollars and cents and not reproductive rights.  Intercourse isn't a right, it is a choice.


@mpal: you SEEM to have INCOMPLETE information in your RANT about contraceptive use contributing to CANCER (emphasis mine, and as annoying and pointless as yours).  If you are concerned about the risks of hormonal based oral contraceptives, then simply utilize one of the other FDA approved non-hormonal long acting reversible contraceptive options covered under this plan.  And BTW, while some studies indicate a link between oral contraceptives and breast cancer, other studies indicate no increase in risk.  Some studies indicate an increased risk for cervical cancer, too, but HPV remains the primary risk factor (and testing for HPV is included under this recommendation).  Further, oral contraceptive use has been shown in multiple studies to decrease the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers. Some say that women receiving regular gynocologic care in order to obtain contraceptives have a higher incidence of early detection of breast cancer as a result of regular screenings.  Like any prescribed medication, this is a health decision to be made by an individual woman and her doctor.  The health benefits of contraceptive and well-woman care classified by the IOM as essential and preventative far outweigh any associated risks of the side effects of any prescribed treatment.  Ms. Oaklander was referring to YOU in her point "2. Pity Condoms" in her column.  Freakin' anti-contraceptive extremists!  Oh, and one more thing: the WHO classification of COC as a class 1 carcinogen (sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans), along with alcoholic beverages and salted fish, is full of caveats (tthere is conclusive evidence that these agents have a protective effect against some types of cancer) with the conclusion that "it is possible that the overall net public health outcome may be beneficial, but a rigorous analysis is required to demonstrate this." Generally speaking, "[e]ach woman who uses these products should discuss the overall risks and benefits with her doctor."  This is a win-win for everyone should these recommendations be placed in practice under the terms of the Affordable Care Act.


Ah hell I hope what I just posted shows up. I think I might have messed up signing in.


I think you've underestimated how much birth control can really cost. $10-$30 if you have really good insurance. A lot more without it. But the good news is that if you calcuate the real costs of birth control you can buy a lot more crystal.


Not only is this article incredibly stupid it is providing a great disservice to women. You call free birthcontrol "pro-woman" without acknowleding that the World Health Organization has classified it as a carcinogenic to humans. Just read the warning labels on junk like Beyaz which states: "Birth control pills do not SEEM to cause breast cancer. HOWEVER, if you have breast cancer now, or have had it in the past, do not use birth control pills because some breast cancers are sensitive to hormones. Women who use birth control pills may have a SLIGHTLY HIGHER CHANCE of getting CERVICAL CANCER. (Emphasis mine). "Do not seem" doesn't reassure me of its safety whatsoever. When women found out that Hormone replacement therapy was a carcinogenic many stopped and the cases of invasive breast cancer reduced, imagine how many women's lives would be saved if people like you stopped touting this as the miracle "cure" for the "problem" of a properly functioning female body!


Tobacco-induced lung cancer is the second greatest killer of Americans--behind heart disease.  (Breast cancer doesn't come even close, and the correlation between breast cancer and birth control is dubious.)  And we don't know half of the ingredients put into a standard cigarette, but among the ones we know include formaldehyde and cyanide.  I guess we should ban cigs and create a black market, just like what happened with condoms and contraceptives prior to Griswold v. Connecticut.


Then why isn't the Catholic church campaigning against Tylenol, pickles and cell phones?  A whole lot of things are on the WHO's "possible carcinogens" list, and they don't have nearly as many warnings or as much infor available as a pack of birth control pills.  As for the "properly functioning female body" nonsese, you have got some rose colored glasses if you think every female body, or even the majority of female bodies, run like clockwork from menses to conception to birth.  If they did, then women wouldn't have died of diseases of pregnancy at such a rapid rate in every century prior to the twentieth.  Whenever somebody tries to use "all natural" as a scientific argument, I remind them that poop's natural, but we always seem to be trying to keep it away from our city centers for some reason.


Lets look at the meat of you argument. there was one study conducted on African-American women showing a slight link to breast cancer, the body of evidence suggests that there is no clear link. If there was, where are all of the supporting studies from credible researchers all around the world? If anything, it has been found that users of the pill actually lived longer than those who did not take it.The study you cite by the World Health Organization has been misinterpreted by groups who are, for "moral" reasons, are against the pill. you read the article, also by the World Health Organization, that certain groups take statistical information and portray it in such a way as to fit their own agendas. They rely on the public's ignorance of statistics and how it pertains to relative versus absolute risk.

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