Affordable Care Act makes birth control less expensive

Birth control is more affordable, if not free, due to the Affordable Care Act. The rise in birth control availability may also contribute to a decrease in abortions, according to Registered Family Advocacy Nurse Elizabeth Adams.

Students on campus support the use and distribution of birth control in numerous forms, ranging from abstinence to condoms.

Although President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) more than three years ago, most of the law, “makes preventative care more accessible and affordable to many Americans,” will go into effect Jan. 2014, with an enrollment period starting Oct. 1, 2013, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services website,

“According to, all FDA contraceptive methods prescribed by a woman’s doctor are covered,” said Nancy Snyderman, Chief Medical Editor at NBC news. “So our interpretation is birth control pills will be covered.”

Registered Family Advocacy Nurse Elizabeth Adams said the ACA act is a positive for women.

“(The ACA) will cover women more with screenings and testing,” Adams said. “It should cut down on the amount of disease because we’re going to catch it early.”

One of the effects of ACA is free, or more affordable, birth control. Based on a study of contraceptive use in the United States done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 62 percent of women of reproductive age were currently using contraceptives at the time of the study.

T’Ebonie Tanner, a sophomore, gave her support for the use of birth control.

“I strongly support the use of birth control because people are going to have sex anyways,” Tanner said. “(They) might as well do it responsibly as a second hand source. Condoms might not always work. You should have another form of birth control,”

Student Jailya Cole considers abstinence a viable birth control.

“I think not having sex is birth control,” Cole said. “If you practice abstinence until you’re married, you won’t need birth control.”

The discussion of denied access to birth control is linked to a rise in abortions, Adams said.

“Absolutely, you’re going to have a lot of unwanted pregnancies, ” Adams said. “Even for situations where people were raped. Sometimes, people are raped but they’re on birth control so they don’t get pregnant.”

Freshman Aubrey Hudson said it depends on the individual as to whether they go through an abortion or not.

“Some girls don’t care,” Hudson said. “They’re going to do what they have to do to stay out of trouble and not have to follow up with their responsibilities. If they don’t have birth control, they are going to get rid of it so they can keep living their own life.”

As birth control becomes more accessible for all social classes to obtain, birth rates have seen a steady decline.

According to a study by National Vital Statistics System, the birth rate among teenagers has dropped 22 percent since 2009.

“The ongoing long term decline began after 1991,” according to the study. “And the rate has fallen nearly half since then.”

According to the study, the birth rate for women ages 20-24 was 85.3 births per 1,000 women in 2011. The ratio dropped five percent since 2010, which was a record low for the United States.

“Birth control is more common and easy to get now,” Hudson said. “I think (birth control) plays a big role in the decline of teen pregnancy.”

Hudson also believes that UNA would be different if birth control was unattainable.

“There would be less people enrolled here because they’d be pregnant,” Hudson said.

Sydney McLemore, a UNA student, agrees with Hudson.

“We’re in college,” McLemore said. “There are guys and girls who are sexually active. There would be less people coming to college and more people having to stay home and raise a family.”