Birth control mandate: It’s everyone’s responsibility

Bryan Calabro

As of August 2012, the Obama Administration passed a contraceptive mandate that allows 47 million women to receive government-subsidized birth control.

With these health-care revisions, women will no longer have to pay out-of-pocket fees when they go to pick up their birth control. Meaning the birth control is now free for women with new or renewed private insurance plans.
Before this mandate, there were 22 states that did not require insurance plans to cover birth control. Only those who had the money could engage in healthy family planning.

Now, all women have the option without money being the restricting element.

As a registered independent, I believe that this is not a liberal issue, nor is it a conservative issue. This affects everyone.

According to Pro Choice America, 1 in 3 women struggle with the costs of birth control. By giving millions of woman access to the most effective birth control and emergency contraceptives (pills, intrauterine devices, or IUDs, injections, rings, plan B etc.) the amount of unwanted pregnancies and abortions have drastically decreased.

To be clear, the government is not forcing anyone to take birth control. They simply made it available for women who before had no choice and no options.

Some may say, “But that’s not fair, why should I have to pay for someone else’s birth control?”

Under the United States federal income tax system, we are all obligated to pay for things that we might not want to pay for. Some of us don’t support funding the arts, the museums, the space programs, national parks, or public schools.

The purpose of taxes is to pay for things we all need. What we all need is to decrease the number of unintended pregnancies and abortion that cost us billions of dollars each year. Not everything we pay for is going to directly affect or benefit us.

If that was why you were against birth control because you didn’t want to pay for it, well here is some good news: Supplying women with birth control ultimately benefits the taxpayer.

A study done by the Guttmacher Institute reported that unintended pregnancies cost taxpayers approximately $11.1 billion a year due to the medical costs of both the mother and the infant.
A Brookings Institute study called, “Unintended Pregnancy and the Taxpayer,” reported the savings that would result from free birth control: between $4.7 and $6.2 billion a year.
As a nation in $16 trillion worth of debt, you would think this would help us out a little.

Now that birth control is available, there is hype that sexually transmitted diseases will increase. Just because birth control is available does not mean that STDs will skyrocket uncontrollably.
The contraceptive mandate also provides HPV and HIV testing, and well as STD counseling.

Providing birth control does not mean mean all women will stop having safe sex. Many women use more than one method of birth control.
It is still very important, if not more important, to educate people about the issue now that birth control is readily available.

I know a lot of men believe they should not pay for birth control because they do no have to take it.

“Its not my birth control, so I shouldn’t have to pay for it,” is a rather selfish thing to say.

I am no feminist, but it really grinds my gears when my male counterparts try and justify the situation by saying, “I shouldn’t have to pay for a woman’s mistake.”

Well my friends, let me just tell you that it takes two to get one in trouble. So if she’s in trouble, then so are you. Unless she magically got pregnant with no man involved, it is your mistake as well.

Just wait for the male contraceptive to come out and then we can chat about how fair it is.