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Should birth control be for sale over the counter?
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Low-income populations need access to affordable birth control

In order to obtain a prescription for birth control, women must consult a doctor first. Many women are without health insurance, and visiting a doctor is not always cheap or convenient. By making birth control accessible over the counter, the number of unwanted pregnancies would decrease in lower-income populations, as well as other health issues.

The Argument

Many women struggle to afford birth control with or without health insurance. Using a prescription, the cost typically ranges from $15 to $50 per month, adding up to $600 annually. Struggling to pay for birth control can result in an inconsistent use, essentially causing in increase in unintended pregnancies. [1] A number of women face difficulties in obtaining birth control due to living in “contraception deserts”, where there is only one clinic per every 1,000 women who require government funded birth control. The populations also facing difficulty due to discrimination include teens, women of color, and immigrants. The LGBTQ community also faces healthcare discrimination, resulting in less options for reproductive health. By making birth control available over the counter, these populations will have easier access to a method that works for them.

Counter arguments

When a drug or medication is made available in drug stores after previously requiring a prescription, the cost of the drug increases. When the “morning after” pill Plan B was introduced, it required a prescription, costing roughly $5 for the generic brand. Once Plan B was made available over the counter, the price increased dramatically around $40 for the generic brand, and $50 for a brand name. To avoid the financial barriers of obtaining birth control, women have been using new, alternative methods. New online services like Nurx have been making it easier for women to obtain birth control with or without insurance, typically paying from $0 (insured) to $15 (uninsured). By paying a small fee, they are able to receive an online consultation from a health professional, and are able to start taking their birth control within just a couple weeks. By making more services like Nurx available, women avoid paying large amounts out of pocket, and are able to make healthy decisions about their body. [2]



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Friday, 6 Nov 2020 at 15:20 UTC

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