Free contraceptives for college students: A possible solution to a long-known problem

CONTRIBUTED: Free plan b medication, a crazy idea, is slowly gaining attention as a cost saving masseuse to the burden of child rearing at a young age.  

It is a known fact that plan b medication is expensive, and for often broke college students the availability of free plan b could be the difference of getting a degree and achieving one’s goals or dropping out of college with the burden of a young child.  

Even more than that, imagine if all forms of contraceptives were free to college students. At this age many people find it difficult to find affordable health care and the cost of the pill or plan b could just not be an option.  

Journal of Women’s Health has looked into this issue before. A cross sectional study done at multiple universities sexually active women were polled and regularly checked up to see rates of contraceptive use and what particular contraceptives were used.  

In the study it was found that of the 23 percent of women who did not use contraceptives sighted cost as the main issue. This raises multiple questions on the affordability of contraceptives and possible solutions.  

One of the most clear-cut solutions would be to provide these contraceptives for free- along with education. Journal of Women’s Health showed in the same study that “women who discussed contraceptives with a healthcare worker were found to use contraceptives had 6.63 times the odds to use it”.  

Considering the bulk of the cost falls upon women it seems rather unequal that female college students can’t receive totally free birth control. Now many people will argue against this for various reasons. Most common one is the abstinence argument. Arguing that free contraceptives will encourage people to have more sex. And oh, what if they do? In that case at least they will be having safe sex.  

Others will argue the cost of this idea. On the contrary if you consider the long-term consequences of having young parents and a large population of people without a degree the current cost of contraceptives is negated. Considering everything that goes into this issue free contraceptives is the most practical answer to the problem.