Birth Control Relief for Low-Income, College Women


The 2009 omnibus appropriations bill
has a little-noticed provision that will have a huge impact on college
women. It’s called the "affordable birth control fix," and is aimed
at restoring access to affordable birth control for nearly four million
college students and low-income women! 

In 2005, Congress passed the Deficit
Reduction Act, which tightened regulations about who was eligible for
nominally priced drugs.  In doing so, Congress inadvertently cut
off every single college and university health center and other safety-net
providers from obtaining birth control at a low cost, and passing on
those savings to their patients. Women like me are now paying up to
10 times more each month for basic birth control. 

Birth control is not just about preventing
pregnancy it serves many purposes in women’s lives; my doctor prescribed
birth control because it has helped me regulate my cycle.  

As a competitive swimmer, birth control
played a vital role in ensuring I could compete to the best of my ability
year round – like my male counterparts.  In fact, my early swimming
success led me to the University of Nevada, Reno, on scholarship where
my swim team won two consecutive conference championships.   

Access to affordable birth control helped
me take control of my future and achieve my dreams as an athlete. 

In 2006, my birth control prescription
more than tripled, going from $15 a month to $50.  As a student
athlete on scholarship, I was unable to work, was living on a small
budget – as most college students do, and birth control was increasingly
difficult to afford. I recall having to decide between paying for groceries
or for birth control – decisions no male athlete would ever have to
make. 

I am not alone. In college, all my friends
took birth control for a number of reasons. It is estimated that this
provision has adversely affected three million college students and
hundreds of thousands of low-income women who take oral contraception.
The decision to use birth control allows women to plan for their education,
career, and family on their own terms.  

Last summer, I was fortunate to be invited
by Planned Parenthood to travel to Washington, DC, to talk with Sen.
Harry Reid, my senator from Nevada, about affordable birth control.
It was a little intimidating to talk to a U.S. senator about birth control,
but Sen. Reid was great. He understood the issue immediately and saw
the common sense in making prevention services like birth control affordable,
especially to college women who don’t have a lot of money.   

The U.S. has the highest rate of teen
pregnancy among the most developed countries of the world.  If
our nation is serious about reducing the unacceptably high rate of unintended
pregnancies, Congress needs to fix an unintended loophole, which is
keeping affordable contraception out of reach for millions of American
women.

That’s why I’m excited that – with
leadership from Sen. Reid – this common sense provision is about to
pass. 

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To schedule an interview with Nonie Wainwright please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • http://www.NevadaAdvocates.org invalid-0

    It looks like we’re on the verge of getting affordable birth control for millions of American women … and you played a key role in making it happen!

  • invalid-0

    Nice job, Nonie. Your visits with Senator Reid were instrumental in getting affordable birth control on the needs to be fixed list. We are very close in getting affordable birth control to American women. You helped make this happen!

  • invalid-0

    I find it unbelievable that BC was even marked up in price in the first place. Are they trying for the exact opposite of reducing unwanted pregnancy and abortion in young women? Birth control means freedom from unintended pregnancy, safe sex, freedom from crippling menstruation and hormone-related conditions and provides relief to those with PCOS and endometriosis. I cannot believe that while Viagra was covered by many insurance policies, BC was not. Last time I checked, all Viagra cures is a limp dick. Erections are sacrosanct, but the reproductive freedom of millions is not?

  • invalid-0

    You rock Nonie!

    Thanks for all the work you do to ensure access and affordability for birth control.

    This is key—> “The U.S. has the highest rate of teen pregnancy among the most developed countries of the world. If our nation is serious about reducing the unacceptably high rate of unintended pregnancies, Congress needs to fix an unintended loophole, which is keeping affordable contraception out of reach for millions of American women.”

    Rock on!

  • invalid-0

    Please read this story on the OrthoEvra birth control patch and the claims made for it: http://www.newsinferno.com/archives/4872#more-4872

  • invalid-0

    Terribly proud of you. Welcome to teh reproductive freedom fighter club.

  • gogbama

    First of all, it is necessary to notice, that importance sexual education of youth is unanimously recognised only in the several countries of Europe. The essential role is played there by the political power. In such countries as Denmark and the Netherlands, sexual education is standard and is under home nursing by the wide public while in Czechia, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Italy it causes active aversion, especially from religious groups.

    Quite often happens so, that inhabitants of different parts of one country, the big cities differently concern sexual education and a countryside. Till now sexual education is not obligatory in many countries of Europe; there, where it is obligatory (the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Hungary, etc.), programs get very important state support. To it I do not think, that acceptance of the given law somehow will essentially be reflected in demographic conditions in our country.

  • http://musicdownloadvia.net/ invalid-0

    Thanks for you work, Nonie. I think it is very important sex education for young people

  • http://bemawento.info invalid-0

    Emergency contraception is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy after sex. But the important things are to know where to get EC if you need it, and have time and possibility to get affordable medication.