Since an “accidental rewording” in the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005 removed a provision which allowed family-planning clinics “to purchase contraceptives at deeply discounted rates,” college students and other low-income Americans have faced steep increases in birth control prices.
This morning, Dian Harrison, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, called on Congress to ensure that women have access to affordable contraceptives:
It’s time to take action and urge our members of Congress to restore affordable birth control prices to college health centers and other trusted family planning providers. Birth control is basic health care; therefore, a woman’s option to use contraception to prevent an unintended pregnancy should not be based on her socio-economic status.
But don’t count on Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to act any time soon. In March 2007, the senator displayed ignorance about birth-control issues, even asking an aid to “find out what my position is on contraception”:
I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception — I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it.
Indeed, like on most major issues, McCain mirrors Bush on contraception. While McCain wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and move towards ending “abortion at the state level,” he has “never cosponsored or supported legislation that would prevent unintended pregnancy or reduce the need for abortion.”
To the contrary, McCain “opposed government financing of condom distribution” and has strongly supported abstinence-only education:
- Voted to end “the Title X family planning program, credited with helping prevent over 9 million abortions.”
- Voted against funding teen‐pregnancy‐prevention programs and ensuring that “abstinence‐only” programs are medically accurate.
- Voted for the domestic gag rule, which would have prohibited federally funded family‐planning clinics from providing women with access to full information about their reproductive‐health options.
- Voted to take $75 million from the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant to establish a new “abstinence‐only” program that censors information about birth control.
- Declined to help reduce the need for abortion and improve maternal health by opposing effort to require insurance coverage for prescription birth control, improve access to emergency contraception, and provide more women with prenatal health care.
- Voted against legislation that would have prevented unintended pregnancy by investing in insurance coverage for prescription birth control, promoting family‐planning services, implementing teen‐pregnancy‐prevention programs, and developing programs to increase awareness about emergency contraception
Indeed, McCain is not what women want.