Letting women have easy access to contraceptives is in the best interest of any government and certainly in the best interests of each individual woman and her family.
There are at least 46 countries where oral contraceptives are available for free to all women, not just those with a financial need. Taking a closer look at them, there are a few surprises – Philippines being the biggest – where getting the pill is as easy as walking into a pharmacy.
The geographical distribution looks like this:
North America: 5
South America: 6
Of course, the major issue is that the United States does not appear on the list. The richest country on Earth does not want to provide birth control for its citizens regardless of need.
Ironic as one of the big selling points of free birth control, other than allowing a woman to decide if she wants to be able to get pregnant, is the fact that it saves taxpayers billions of dollars each year. Unplanned pregnancies cost federal and state governments about $21 billion a year, while making oral contraceptives free to women in the U.S. would run about 10% of that total when all birth control methods are taken into account.
It seems like it should be an easy decision on the part of the federal government to put into place a system that provides the pill for free. As usual, politics gets in the way of progress, some don’t want to spend the money at all (ironic for the savings) while others don’t like the idea of birth control in the first place.
In the end, there are low-cost birth control options for American women, especially for those in need, but providing it for free can help alleviate at least some financial pressure for millions of American families.