There’s an important distinction here between availability and accessibility. The US has good availability; contraceptives are sold everywhere (aside from certain types of long-acting contraceptive). However the accessibility — whether people who need the treatment can actually get it — is pretty bad. As an example, a very low-income woman can have contraception available to them (i.e. sold in a drug store) but not be able to afford it due to the US’s incredibly high drug prices. Similarly someone could have significant problems with hormonal contraception, but not be covered under their insurance plan for any other kind.

In practical terms, the US isn’t that great at giving contraception to women who need it. Many OECD countries do far better. Improving the accessibility of contraception through universal healthcare coverage would probably massively decrease the number of abortions in the country, for example, but I’ve yet to hear a pro-life person take that stance.

Epidemiologist. Writer. Podcaster. Twitter FB Email