Acton Institute Powerblog

Birth Control Price Increase May Send College Girls To Planned Parenthood

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Time Magazine recently reported that birth-control pills on college campuses will surge in price this year due to new legislation regarding Medicaid.

For decades college campus health centers have been a resource for budget-conscious female students seeking birth control. Because of agreements with pharmaceutical companies, most campus clinics were able to distribute brand name prescription contraceptives, from pills to the patch to a monthly vaginal device like NuvaRing, for no more than a couple of bucks.

As a result of new legislation, Time reports, “brand name prescription prices for campus clinics rose from about the $3 to $10 range per month to the $30 to $50 range.

A 2006 survey conducted by the American College Health Association (ACHA) found that 39% of undergraduate women use oral contraceptives. Many providers are afraid that if the convenience of free or cheap birth control on campus is taken away, female students might just get turned off by prescription birth control methods altogether and use other less effective ones like condoms or Plan B, known as the morning after pill.

Pill using college students do have access to cheaper both control pills but many young women refuse to reveal to their parents the reality of their sexual activity; nor are students interested in managing insurance co-pays, etc., the story reports. Some expect that clinics will simply start referring college women to Planned Parenthood for cheaper birth control pills.

Maybe we should try this:

(1) How cheap would it be for a woman not to dehumanize herself by not having sex with a man who does not have moral fortitude to publicly committed himself before God, and others, to devote his life to seeing that she becomes the radiant, captivating woman that God intends for her to be? Not having sex outside of marriage cost exactly $0.00 per month.

One student said the price increase “will cut into the kinds of notebooks I buy to the kind of groceries I get to the cable package that I order,” she laments. Hmmm. It’s too bad that her soul seems less valuable than her cable package.

(2) Someone needs to tell women that they don’t have to have sex before they’re married and that it’s ok not to. This represents some failure in family nurture and parental involvement in the formation of children. Most parents never talk to their children about sex grounded in the God-designed dignity of women. Here’s the result: a recent University of Texas study reports the top ten reasons college-age women give for having sex outside of life-committed marriage.

1. I was attracted to the person
2. I wanted to experience physical pleasure
3. It feels good
4. I wanted to show my affection to the person
5. I wanted to express my love for the person
6. I was sexually aroused and wanted the release
7. I was “horny”
8. It’s fun
9. I realized I was in love
10. I was “in the heat of the moment”

(3) Perhaps college girls should be reminded that sex is designed for making more people. Sadly, college girls in America have been raised to view sex in purely narcissistic terms divorced from marriage and having kids. Non-marital sexuality is decidedly self-oriented, as the above list reveals. Perhaps college-age women should have been taught as little girls exactly how sexual love requires the stability of marriage and family life in order to find is deepest fulfillment and most powerful expression. Do college women want to discover the best sex possible? Obviously not. Many, it seems, are willing to settle for “animalized” versions instead. Why are so many college-age women willing to settle?

Perhaps the story title should read, “Narcissistic Sex and Sex Used To Mediate Past Pain Will Now Cost College Women More Money.”

Anthony Bradley Anthony Bradley, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics in the Public Service Program at The King's College in New York City and serves as a Research Fellow at the Acton Institute. Dr. Bradley lectures at colleges, universities, business organizations, conferences, and churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. His books include: Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and the Black Experience in America (2010),  Black and Tired: Essays on Race, Politics, Culture, and International Development (2011),  The Political Economy of Liberation: Thomas Sowell and James Cone of the Black Experience (2012), Keep Your Head Up: America's New Black Christian Leaders, Social Consciousness, and the Cosby Conversation (2012), Aliens in the Promised Land:  Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions (forthcoming, 2013). Dr. Bradley's writings on religious and cultural issues have been published in a variety of journals, including: the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Detroit News, and World Magazine. Dr. Bradley is called upon by members of the broadcast media for comment on current issues and has appeared C-SPAN, NPR, CNN/Headline News, and Fox News, among others. He studies and writes on issues of race in America, hip hop, youth culture, issues among African Americans, the American family, welfare, education, and modern slavery. From 2005-2009, Dr. Bradley was Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO where he also directed the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute.   Dr. Bradley holds Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from Clemson University, a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Westminster Theological Seminary.  Dr. Bradley also holds an M.A. in Ethics and Society at Fordham University.


  • Caitlain

    Perhaps you should not spend so much time worrying about how other people manage their sex lives.

    How’s that for an idea? That would cost you nothing as well, my friend.

  • Peter

    Thanks for bringing this to the forefront, AB. The indurate college culture is leaving women to waste in a pusillanimous and dehumanizing state (just look at the reasons you noted). I think the “alternatives” are a good start to helping women see the tremendous value they bring to society. God bless your efforts!

  • Peter

    Despite the fact these women choose to do this to themselves we must love them NO MATTER WHAT…

  • john

    I’m glad you chose to use a picture of girls from USC and not from *my* school.

    But don’t forget that these birth controls are actually abortifacients. That means that they actually dispose of a fertilized egg after contraception occurs, and that the women choosing abortion now are simply ending a human life later than they might otherwise would.

  • Anthony Bradley

    Haha!! Exactly!

  • scarshapedstar

    Perhaps college girls should be reminded that sex is designed for making more people.

    Really? Then why do women have orgasms?

  • scarshapedstar

    Oh, and let’s not forget about those vile, ungodly demons who wish to control their menstrual cycles. God wants them to suffer, so forcing them to shell out for regularity is totally awesome and compassionate.

  • marc

    Because God is nice and wants women to enjoy sex. But that doesn’t really change the fact that sex is also (and primarily) the means by which more people come into the world, now does it?

  • Karen

    God bless you, Anthony for bringing this issue into brighter light. The sad reality is that the women’s movement and sexual revolution have had the opposite effect on the state of women than before the so-called liberation. Women today have become objects more than ever! Birth control, casual sex and sex outside of marriage contribute greatly to a woman’s loss of identity and self-esteem. Add abortion to the mix and a woman can spiral down into depression and anger for the rest of her life. This is a public health hazard! Let’s reclaim our women and their civilizing influence!

  • Thanks, Karen. Right ho!

  • Anon

    Thank you. Without the pill my schedual is very unregular, cycles that last for 12 days, stopping for 2 months, and I get ill and can’t get out of bed for a full day. Do I deserve to suffer because I cant afford $50 a month for the pill?

  • Meaghan

    Why the attack on women? Sex, for the most part, involves two people. God has nothing to do with anything, we evolved. Humans are mammals hardwired to reproduce. . . just so happens that it feels good. You need to get a hobby.. hmm.. maybe sex?

  • CJ

    So you think it is the female’s job to be the gatekeepers and refuse sex? How about teaching men when they are little to value a woman. How dare throw out stereotypical comments and make adult women who make a choice to have responsible sex! Why don’t you worry about more important issues i.e. the homeless, the war, etc. and let us responsible young women fight our own battles. Conservatives like you wonder why women get abortions….it is because they are not supported when they chose to be responsible and go on birth control! Raising the cost of birth control is NOT going to stop young women from having sex, it will only make them have less responsible sex. And yes, such thing as responsible sex does exist. Maybe it’s time to let your barefoot pregnant wife out of the kitchen for a conversation about her feelings.

  • Nicole

    As a female college student, your blog greatly disturbs me. Satanizing or otherwise devaluing women’s sexuality is misogynistic and unfair. I am in a relationship with someone that I feel respects and cares for me, but neither of us are ready for marriage at this point in our lives. Although sex can be selfish, it is not inherently so. Even all the reasons you listed are not selfish–what is wrong with sex for the sake of love? Unless of course you do not believe in love between a man and a woman, and merely see women as reproductive tools.

  • Amanda

    i just want to say that whoever wrote this is pinning sex on women completely. are you not aware that all college guys do is look for sex? last time i checked around me campus it was all horny 20something guys.. but that obviously does not matter to you and its only women who are “dirty minded” and “were not rasied w/morals” because only we want sex.. you need to pull your head outta somewhere and see both sides of this pal.

  • The Truth

    Since we are all smart, why did God give a woman a clitoris?

  • Because God intends sex to be pleasurable for both men and women. But that doesn’t mean that God intended for sex to be a recreational activity on the same level as foosball.

  • Cheals

    I am incredibly offended by this post. This post assumes that college girls just have sex with everyone. What about the college girls who have had only one partner ever and have been with said partner at least two years? Hm?
    I have been dating my boyfriend for 2 years now, and we do plan to get married once college is done. We are simply waiting to do that so we are both financially free of our parents (I already am), have the wedding and honeymoon we want, and not have to deal with the opinions of limited minded adults. And you are one of those limited minded people. If I got married to him at 18 years old, I bet you would have something to say about that.
    In addition, we know a couple who got married this past May at 18 and 19 years of age and she is on the pill to keep from getting pregnant. How is that so bad? They are having sex within the confines of marriage, after all.

    I have spent a year paying $60 a month for the pill, which amounts to nearly $800. Wow. Plus that does not include the cost of condoms, since we use both, just as further precaution. So let’s cut that in half with cheaper pills. What else can I do with $400? Now, I won’t get better cable, but I could certainly afford healthier food every week, and I think that is a better choice than shelling out so much money when it can easily be gotten from Planned Parenthood.

    Plus to top it off, prior to getting on the pill a year ago, I experience painful periods. It disrupted my life. I would get sick constantly for two days, began eating less to avoid puking and lost too much weight. So, yes, apparently, all college aged women seeking the pill are awful and demonic creatures, of course.
    It is people like you that turn others away from Christ and a life full of God.

  • Liz

    How misled and chauvinist of you, sir.
    Due to these very laws, I was not able to buy the medication necessary to manage my polycystic ovarian syndrome. I have a particularly severe case of it, as it effects most of my hormones, especially those of my thyroid.
    My then-fiance would not pay for it, I could not pay for it, and years after waiting to “make that committment,” which by the way, no one in either of our families would pay for, we lived together and got pregnant due to a failed condom.
    I cannot stand people who feel as if women who have sex are dirty and wrong. I am married now, a condom broke, and since I still cannot afford bc (I’m still in college), I’m going to have to get the morning-after pill or abort.
    I am a Christian person, but I am also not an idiot. Babies are NOT gifts; they are PEOPLE. As I cannot afford to take care of my daughter as it is, I cannot, in good faith, have another child. As a married person, however, I am supposed to have sex. Work that one out with your handy dandy religion-veiled sexism, won’t you? While you’re at it, how about showing me and everyone else where God, Jesus, etc. “says” that aborting a fetus is wrong? I’ve been pregnant– I know when a baby is a baby, and preventing pregnancy solely by not getting married and not having sex is horse crap. You give birth and give up everything you enjoy and need while buttfaces tell you you’re wrong for not having more kids– then, you tell me what to do as a college student and mother.
    You see, abortion would not even be an option, as wrong as I think it is, if my medication WHICH I NEED FOR ACTUAL MEDICAL PURPOSES were available for less than $70– it costs about $200 just to go to a clinic to get on the stuff, as well.
    Thanks for nothing. How about you stay out of politics and medicine since you know little of either?