Birth Control to Pregnancy, The Cost of Being Female

I’m such a consumer. I buy lots of things I don’t need and other things that I think I need but if I am honest, I’d say I could very well live without them. As a woman, I gripe about the things I “have” to buy that men don’t. How is it fair that overall, women still make less than similarly situated men but we have to buy pantyhose, tampons, makeup, purses, Spanx, and so on? Like I said, I know those aren’t things I need but what about birth control, cervical cancer screenings and domestic abuse counseling? I might very well need those things, yet they’re expenses almost completely borne by women.

Things are looking up after the Department of Health and Human Services accepted the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine last week to consider birth control as basic preventive health care that, as of August 1, 2012, must be made available to the millions of women who want and need it at no additional cost. Contraception with no co-pay is a major step forward for women’s health alone but HHS didn’t stop there. The Affordable Care Act, aka the result of all those health care reform debates a couple of years ago, ensures access without cost-sharing to well-woman visits (annual gyno checkups), gestational diabetes screenings, HPV testing, STD counseling, HIV screening and counseling, breastfeeding support (including supplies and counseling), and domestic violence screening and counseling.

If the cost of being a healthy female hasn’t hit you, it’s probably because you have always been well, you’ve never been pregnant, or you’re fortunate enough to have the means to buy insurance and cover your co-pays, no sweat. But for many women in this country, a doctor’s visit or a refill on birth control pills is often a decision between another equally as important choice like rent or food. This GOOD infographic lays it all out quite nicely.

Infographic, Healthcare, Female, HIV, HPV, Birth Control, Domestic Abuse, Transparency, Reproductive Health

Last 5 posts by Nakia D. Hansen