The New War on Your Birth Control: How Big Pharma and Hobby Lobby-Types Put IUDs Out of Reach
“When you can’t afford a choice it’s not a choice at all.”
This month, a new IUD became available to American women, and it may be a game changer, not because the design is particularly innovative but because it shatters the monopoly that has put top-tier contraceptives out of reach for many women.
Around the world, intrauterine contraception is one of the most widely used forms of reversible birth control. It is also the method most widely used by OB-GYN doctors, for good reason: an IUD is more than 20 times as effective as the pill. It is also far cheaper in the long run. That is true even without taking into account the saved financial costs of contraceptive failure that produces abortion, pregnancy-caused health problems, or unsought childbearing.
Low Costs, Prohibitive Pricing
When I say cheaper, I mean a lot cheaper. A nonhormonal copper IUD costs as little as 40 cents to produce, and according to recent research, keeps working for as long as 20 years. (That’s the production cost of a single box of condoms.) A hormonal IUD, which is preferred by many women because it makes periods lighter and less frequent and has other health benefits, costs a bit more. But the production cost is still remarkably inexpensive once research and development costs are paid back