Vox has a pretty good story today regarding a public program in the state of Colorado to get free birth control to low-income women. The program is running out of the original private grant money, and the state government does not seem all that eager to set aside resources to keep it going. The thing is, that program resulted in a 40% drop in teen abortions across the state, and keeping it going could hurt the abortion industry.
The Colorado state government is understandably wary of spending federal money to provide free birth control, but the reduction of abortions makes the program make sense. The health and social benefits for teens are obvious. Teen pregnancy is still a social issue that kids will suffer for, and the emotional trauma of an abortion for someone so young is documented. And, unlike the Affordable Care Act, it is a state program, with the states have every right to have without being forced by the federal government to do anything.
It is fascinating that Colorado is the place for this program, when at the same time, freshman U.S. Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado has been pushing a proposal to make birth control available over the counter. It is a measure that would hurt the abortion industry, and Planned Parenthood has spent a lot of time lobbying against OTC birth control, despite the fact that they are the ones constantly accusing Republicans as being against women’s sexual freedom.
There is a ton of special interest money against proposals like Colorado’s state program and Gardner’s bill because it would do direct harm to the bottom line of so-called non-profits like PPFA. Forbes points this out perfectly.
Planned Parenthood’s stance on expanding access to birth control may be illogical in light of their mission statement, but it is perfectly logical when you consider the group’s financial interests. Planned Parenthood rakes in $1.2 billion annually; more than a third of their services involve providing contraception to women (and billing third parties for those costs). As a major provider of birth control and the nation’s number one abortion provider, why would Planned Parenthood support other options for women? The group is simply serving its own self-interest, trying to hang on to the status quo that leads to big business and big dollars for them. Who’s working against women now?
If birth control is available over the counter, then that’s $400 million dollars that Planned Parenthood risks losing. Whether it’s the government giving it out for free, or more companies making it available over the counter, the fact is that people are going to continue doing things like