Staff Editorial: Students need to voice concerns for affordable birth control

Birth control prices offered by university health centers increased to $40 from $10 after Summer 2007.

UH students felt the price hit their pockets when the Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which went into effect in Jan. 2007, finally caught up with students’ pocketbooks by that summer. Officials at the UH Health Center said they were encouraging students to buy up as much birth control while it was available at $10 before the price increased to $35 and later to $40.

VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood is a student organization attempting to raise awareness of the Prevention Through Affordable Access Act today beginning at noon in the Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall.Birth control, which is prescribed not only to prevent unwanted pregnancies, also helps prevent and treat diseases such as cysts on ovaries that can cause irregular menstruation or endometriosis, in which tissue spreads outside of the uterus and can eventually cause tumors or infertility.

The higher price prevents students, who are among the most financially vulnerable, from being able to afford medication otherwise easily sought through a college or university health center.

Officials at the UH Health Center said they are offering students female condoms for those who are not able to afford it. Unfortunately, not all students want or need those types of contraceptives, as they may not be sexually active and are taking birth control for different reasons. While well-intentioned, it does put those students in need of regulating specific health conditions in a bad spot because of its lack of affordability.

Students should take any and every opportunity to lobby their congressional representatives and senators to support the Prevention Through Affordable Access Act, which would help meet students’ demands about their health. Government representatives should understand that not all students are sexually active when taking birth control.

Birth control is not a luxury medication to take, because an individual’s well-being is on the line and should not be debated in petty arguments concerning morality or promiscuity.

With more students voicing their thoughts and concerns to representatives, changes can be made, but only if everyone is willing to do their part, contribute to the cause and push it through.

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