WASHINGTON, DC — Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) shed his usual placid demeanor when discussing birth control for low-income women on Friday, telling ThinkProgress that “not one” woman doesn’t have access to contraception in the United States.
Price, who serves as the fifth ranking Republican in the House, made the comments to ThinkProgress this morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. Like virtually all Republicans in Congress, he opposes the recent Obama administration rule requiring employers and insurers to offer birth control at no cost.
We asked Price, who is a medical doctor by trade, what he would say to low-income women who can’t afford birth control if it’s not covered by their insurance policies. Price responded by denying their very existence. “Bring me one woman who has been left behind,” he demanded. “Bring me one. There’s not one”:
KEYES: Obviously one of the main sticking points is whether or not contraception coverage is going to be covered health insurance plans and at hospitals and whether or not they’re going to be able to pay for it, especially for low-income women. Where do we leave these women if this rule is rescinded?
PRICE: Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one. The fact of the matter is, this is a trampling of religious freedom and religious liberty in this country. The president does not have the power to say that your First Amendment rights go away. That’s wrong.
In fact, there are tens of millions of women in the United States who have struggled to afford or don’t have access to contraception. A recent Hart Research survey found that one in three women voters have struggled to afford prescription birth control, including 55 percent of young women aged 18 to 34.
Fortunately, the Obama administration has moved to help these women by requiring insurers to provide birth control at no charge, a move that Price vehemently opposes.
Commenter Amber French is just one of the women that Price claims do not exist. She writes: “Before I found a good gynecologist that was willing to take my financial situation into consideration (college student, minimal work income, zero insurance), my medically necessary birth control was $50/mo. I definitely was unable to afford it, and I know tons of other ladies in similar boats.”