Recently the Trump Administration rolled back the birth control mandate set into place by the Affordable Care Act. This mandate forced all employers to offer birth control to employees without deductibles or co-pays, making it much more affordable for people who might not be able to afford it otherwise. The main reason for getting rid of this contraceptive mandate was to protect the religious beliefs of employers, specifically those who feel contraception is wrong and goes against the values of their religion. With no other alternatives being offered to the employees losing their affordable birth control, this is the perfect time to bring more attention to the history of birth control in America, and how this act could negatively impact statistics that have taken time to achieve.
While birth control primarily impacts women, it also has a strong impact on children. Having access to affordable contraceptives avoids having too many children in households in which the parents are not financially able to take proper care of them. This helps both women who cannot afford to take care of one child and helps women and men both in families where having multiple children would greatly impact their financial stability. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, children who live in homes in which the parents are using a form of contraception are 12% more likely to live in households that needed public assistance. So when thinking about the cost of birth control verses the cost of public assistance, one sounds much better. Birth control pills can typically cost between $15 and $50 a month, according to Planned Parenthood. Public assistance for one family can cost around $20,000 to $30,000 a year, depending on the family and their financial needs.
Some women have health issues that may prevent them from experiencing a healthy pregnancy, like diabetes. Diabetes can cause extremely difficult pregnancies, and in some cases, even death. Birth control already has caused a significant decrease in maternal mortality rates in countries all over the world, including the United States. In a study completed by researchers at John Hopkins University found that contraceptive methods prevent around 27 maternal deaths out of every 100,000 women each year. Keeping women alive should be important, and the fact that simply providing women with affordable and accessible birth control can do just that, is good reason for keeping it that way.
With different forms of contraception becoming more and more accessible, more women are going on to college and receiving higher education, as well as increasing their participation in the workforce. Having children can be very costly and time consuming. Having a child can change a woman's life dramatically. Finding the time and the money to support both a child and a college career is difficult, and not giving the necessary tools to women to prevent potentially giving up on higher education or their career is not acceptable.
Giving women, children, and families better lives should be of great importance in the United States. Birth control does not only help women better choose their path of life, but it also helps women with issues such as heavy menstrual cycles and acne. Allowing women to choose their futures and control what happens to their bodies is so important. Birth control has created better lives for so many women and children and overall has had such a positive impact on women over the course of many years, so let's not take a step backward.