Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
January 21, 2022

The price of birth control pills at Hopkins's Health and Wellness Center recently tripled. This change in federal law, a result of to the passage of the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act, prevented drug manufacturers from providing health centers at college campuses with discounts for birth control. For many young women, the price of birth control has become prohibitive, meaning that some will end up sacrificing vital control over their own sexual health. Birth control is a public health necessity, particularly on college campuses, where sexual health is arguably the predominant medical concern. The effect of this has potential to keep women from maintaining control over their own bodies.

There are many women on this campus who would not like their parents to see a co-pay for birth control pills appear on their monthly insurance invoice. These women are left with two options: pay a significantly higher price for their birth control, or go without. Neither option is acceptable. Additionally, some women take birth control pills for reasons other than contraception. It is important to remember that many women are prescribed birth control in order to deal with the more severe symptoms of menstruation.

We commend the Health and Wellness Center for providing a confidential space for sex education on campus. We hope they further increase their visibility on campus as the first destination for sexual health concerns. We also encourage all students, male and female, to insist upon fair birth control prices for students. As adults, we must advocate forcefully for our own health care rights by contacting our senators and representatives, and by making ourselves heard in the upcoming election. We would marginalize ourselves even further by not speaking up.

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