NARAL Pro-Choice America has launched its Birth Control for Me campaign to make free birth control an election issue. NARAL’s Blog for Choice describes why free birth control is necessary: 30 million women use birth control and “one in three women has struggled with the high cost of prescription birth control at some point in her life.” Does struggling to pay for something that is a lifestyle choice require state intervention to force insurance companies to drop co-payments for birth control? Probably one in three Americans have struggled with buying food or making a mortgage payment at some point in their life but that does not entitle everyone to foodstamps or subsidized housing. At best, NARAL has made the case for subsidizing or eliminating co-payments for contraception and other birth control for people who can’t afford it — the poor. But there is something unseemly about the government paying for the birth control of a particular class of people.
Of course, that isn’t really their agenda, either, but their pitch for eliminating co-payments has a hint of dishonesty because it makes it sound like 33% of Americans cannot afford birth control right now. Few people will pay much attention to the qualifying “at some point in her life.” Most of those, presumably, are university and high school students and many of them would have access to “affordable birth control” at school.
There is simply no need to force insurance companies to drop co-payments for birth control, regardless of Barack Obama’s promise to do so.