Probably one of the biggest and most damaging pieces of misinformation swirling around during this whole reproductive health debate is that birth control is inexpensive. And whether or not you think that it should be covered by insurance (like every other kind of medicine is), the fact remains that birth control, in all of its various forms, costs a lot of money. And that cost is, the majority of the time, absorbed by women–who already pay more for health insurance.
As many as 10,700,000 women in the United States rely on the birth control pill alone, and just a fraction use it for non-contraceptive reasons. The rest use it either for partially or entirely contraceptive purposes, which means in states like Arizona, it wouldn’t be covered by their health care provider, and they would be forced to purchase it out-of-pocket–and in states like Texas, where low-cost women’s health care has become virtually non-existent, that can become a financial burden.
But, because of its many generic iterations, the Pill is actually one of the more affordable options. The Nuva Ring and the Ortho Evra Path, both of which work better for women who prefer not to take a pill at the same time every single day, have no generic available, and can cost twice as much as the pill itself.
Our wonderful and talented graphic designer, Emma Charlton, put together this excellent infographic, based on facts from Planned Parenthood and the Guttmacher Institute, to help illustrate the differences in cost of various methods–and to show just how much women are playing each year, out of their own pockets.
Image: Emma Charlton