Rick Santorum Says Women Should Buy Their Own Birth Control Because It Only Costs A Few Dollars

Author: February 11, 2012 4:01 pm

Former Senator and current Republican golden boy Rick Santorum has a huge problem with women. He thinks they’re a distraction on the battlefield, he thinks they can’t make their own decisions about their bodies, thinks they should be told who to have sex with (no gays) and when (only when married), and thinks women are just baby carriers who should serve the demands of men. Santorum may well be the most anti-women candidate in the field and he added to that reputation on Saturday while complaining about the Obama Administration  requirement that insurance companies provide free birth control to women. He told the crowd at CPAC that insurance companies shouldn’t cover birth control and that women should buy their own birth control because it just costs a few dollars:

“?Interestingly enough, here is what they are forcing them to do — in an insurance policy, they are forcing them to pay for something that costs just a few dollars. Is that what insurance is for? The foundational idea that we have the government telling you that you have to pay for everything as a business. Things that are not really things you need insurance for, and still forcing on something that is not a critical economic need, when you have an economic distress, where you would need insurance. But forcing them even more to do it for minor expenses.”


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Here’s the video:

Santorum is very wrong about the costs of birth control and its status as a drug covered by insurance. According to ThinkProgress, birth control is rather costly:

“?Oral contraceptives or “The Pill” range between $35 and $250 for the initial provider visit and the cost of a monthly supply of pills ranges between $15 and $50 a month, which amounts to between $180 and $600 a year depending on woman’s medical coverage. This means some women without insurance coverage for contraception may pay over $850 the first year of their prescription. Other forms of birth control are far more expensive. For instance, the cost for a monthly supply of birth control patches ranges from $15 to $80 dollars, or between $180 and $960 a year. Combined with the doctors visit, uninsured women could spend over $1,200 dollars in the first year.”

After checking with the Planned Parenthood website, these prices are accurate. The fact is, birth control requires a prescription and that requires a visit to a doctor. Women cannot just walk into a Walmart or gas station and pick up birth control pills. Men, on the other hand, can pick up a twelve pack of condoms at Walmart for under ten dollars or buy one condom for 75 cents at a gas station vending machine. There is no prescription or doctor visit required. It’s much easier and less expensive for men to practice safe sex than it is for women. If men only use 2 condoms per week, they end up only buying under $100 worth of protection per year. Women clearly have higher costs and more hassle to deal with.

By comparison, even a vasectomy costs less than a years worth of birth control patches. Planned Parenthood can do the procedure for $1,000 or less and, if done properly, it should last forever. The patches can cost $1,200 with a doctor visit and women have to pay that cost every single year.

Also, aside from its contraceptive utility, employers should be required to cover birth control because it is a valid prescription medication that does more than just prevent pregnancy. Birth control can also treat irregular periods, control bleeding, and relieve cramping. There’s a reason some lesbians take the pill and it has nothing to do with safe sex. Further, many insurance companies cover Viagra, a drug whose sole function is sexual in nature. If employers are applying a religious test to a drug meant for women but not one for men, that’s a clear case of sexual discrimination. If an employer can pay for a man’s erection, they can pay for a woman to protect herself from the consequences of that erection.

Rick Santorum’s claim that women should buy their own birth control is also a moot point. He has declared his opposition to birth control. In his narrow minded opinion it’s wrong for women to be sexually active outside of marriage (but, again, since he doesn’t attack Viagra so vigorously, it must be OK for men). He even wants states to be allowed to ban birth control. How can women buy their own birth control if it is banned? Santorum clearly has a problem with women and when you’re running for President, it’s not a good idea to be waging war against more than half of the American public, especially when a vast majority of American women use some form of birth control at least once in their lives. And the Catholic women he is supposedly defending from this onerous burden? 98% of sexually active Catholic women has used birth control at some point.

This “controversy” is just the latest attempt by the GOP to use religion as a distraction.

 

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4 Comments

  • Another day, another Santorum brain fart.

  • Because if I have $50 to spend on food for my kids or to spend on birth control, I’m certainly going to let my kids go hungry–every month.

  • The ‘Catholic Church’ is not being forced to offer contraception to women who want it. The ‘insurance company’ (not a church, but a business) is the entity that must offer the contraception. Under Santorum’s view, Catholic women should not even be using contraception, so it appears that the ‘insurance company’ (not a church, but a business) should not even be supplying any due to lack of demand.

    (And Frothy, if they use contraception here in this realm, don’t worry, they won’t be getting past your pearly gates in the next.)

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