Friday, 23 November 2007

Sex, Youth and Health Care Systems

Contraception is going to cost more for many American college students, now that a special arrangement that mandated lower prices for contraceptive methods sold through college and university health centers has ended. The New York Times carried the story yesterday, with the headline: “Colleges Shaken by Soaring Cost of Birth Control.”

The price jump is something that young women who have cell phones and latte habits can afford, the story quotes some observers saying. Could be, but couple that with the statistics on teenage pregnancy in the United States and Canada, and a good case can be made for discounting contraceptives for all young women.

In Canada a young woman of whatever age has access to free health care without going through her parents insurer or even telling them. She finds a doctor or clinic, makes an appointment and presents herself with her health care card, issued by the province. She may have to pay for any contraceptive drug prescribed (although in Quebec she’ll be covered by one for or another of obligatory insurance,) but the price is likely to be less than in the US because drug prices generally are lower here.

Other factors are at work too, but the end result in Canada is a teen birth/abortion rate that is less than half that of the US. In an article in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality last May, researchers reported that the birth/abortion rate for women under 20 in Canada was 26.6 per 1000 in 2003 while that in the U.S. it was 66.2 per 1000.

Every child should be a wanted child. When is the US going to get the message? Stories like this should also be a warning to Canadians that we must defend what we've got.


Martin Langeland said...

Sad to say it was never about wanting children. Just as soon as born the rethugs lose all interest, unless the kid is rich.
No, its about Daddy keeping control of you. That's also why we don't have national health. As my sister-in-law once told me: "We can't afford the poor." I very much regret to say her tongue was no where near her cheek.

Mary Soderstrom said...

Sad but true, I'm afraid.