Until January 2007, universities could buy prescription birth control at a reduced cost but it is now expensive for pharmaceutical companies to offer the low prices due to changed federal law in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. What does this mean? It means that it used to cost about $7 per month for pills and now costs $25-40. This is a major blow for students and the data are already in that some are opting for cheaper and less effective contraceptive methods. Yikes. Check out this article in TIME.
Today I went to a meeting about this issue because I wanted to find out what I can do. I thought they were going to tell me who to write to, who to call, etc. Well, it turns out they organizing on this issue is still in the planning stages because I inadvertently joined a committee by going to this meeting. Oops. Well, here I am. So I'm going to be the one figuring out who students should contact about this and what they should tell them. I expect that learning how to navigate the administrative system of a large university is going to be helpful when I need to approach people about my other activism issue- recycling. I'll save that for another post.
I know many of my readers are at universities. What's the dialogue on your campus? Are students talking about the change in price? What plans are on the table for dealing with it? Are they appealing to the university to subsidize birth control for students? Is prescription birth control covered by your university health care?