Birth Control Decontrol


The Independent Women's Forum (IWF) is a nonprofit organization aimed at winning women over to the cause of limited government. In light of the controversy over a federal mandate requiring employers to offer health benefits that include birth control, IWF Senior Fellow Nicki Neily offered three reasons government should (mostly) get out of the contraception business.

1 Access. "Birth control, in its many forms, is widely avail­- able, and studies have shown that 99 percent of women use a form of contraception (other than natural family planning) at some point in their lives. They may not like what they have to pay for their preferred option, but women in America are not denied care or treatments."

2 Cost. "The market offers a wide variety of products and services at varying price points, which enables consumers to choose what best suits their lifestyle. The nonprofit Guttmacher Institute estimates that birth control pills can cost as little as $9 per month (for generics) and up to $90 (for brand-name pharmaceuticals)."

3 Safety. "If the government is determined to play a role in the birth control wars, it should be that of referee, ensuring that products brought to market are safe and that patents are respected. Let consumers choose the services they want—and insurance policies to cover those services, if they so choose—and let them pay the price."