Logic, Men Talking About Contraception Edition (cont’d)

by evanmcmurry










In response to this post, someone asked: “Care to refute their point, or are you just going to point out their sex and pretend you’ve made a point?” Fair enough. So here’s my refutation:

The argument made in the tweets is that contraception in inexpensive and accessible, roughly equivalent to toothpaste. In which case it’s absurd we’re having such an argument over its mandated coverage—so absurd it should have occurred to one of them that $9 Walmart birth control isn’t the end of the story.

Here’s a round-up of current contraceptive prices, of the type not purchased at Wal-Mart (numbers in parentheses are 2009 figures):

Yasmin: $85.99 ($76.99) — 12%
Ocella (Yasmin generic): $71.99 ($59.34) — 21%
Yaz: $92.99 ($85.60) — 9%
Nuvaring: $86.99 ($77.35) — 12%
Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo: $94.99 ($67.99) — 40%
Tri-Lo Sprintec (OTCLo generic): No longer available ($55.99)
Plan B One-Step: $47.99 ($47.99)

As another writer put it, “If you consider them “affordable”, you haven’t ever been living paycheck to paycheck,” and goes on to point out that “Many [women] more use less effective methods because they’re cheaper.” Something tells me the $9 Wal-mart pill is in that latter category. Making quality contraception accessible, so as to decrease unwanted pregnancies, is part of the point of the contraception coverage mandate as recommended by the Institute of Medicine; the existence of cheap methods doesn’t negate the seriousness of that goal. Yes, there’s $9 birth control at Wal-mart; there’s also over-the-counter cold medicine, but that doesn’t make covering doctor visits an extravagance.

My problem is less with the tweeters’ position (with which I respectfully disagree) than with their method (or lack of) in getting there. One made a simplistic observation, the other agreed, and they patted themselves on the back for being right. At no point did it occur to them they might not have the whole of the issue before them, nor did they seek out any information that might challenge their data/reasoning, or so much as ask someone with firsthand experience of paying for contraception, i.e., a woman.