Writing on Townhall.com, Amy Ridenour rips gaping holes in last week’s assertion by President Obama that 99 percent of all women have relied on contraception at some point in their lives. “And yet, more than half of all women between the ages of 18 and 34 have struggled to afford it,” he claimed. The White House Fact Sheet distributed the same day repeated this.
But the unvarnished truth and the president’s wild claims are two different things:
- According to the National Health Statistics Report (Number 36, March 3, 2011), only 86.8 percent of women aged 15-44 have ever had vaginal intercourse.
- Vaginal sex participation rates for women do not reach 99 percent until the 40-44 age cohort, and by then birth control becomes less necessary.
- Birth control is not expensive; it costs as little as $15 per month.
- Condoms cost about a quarter, and free condoms are widely available.
- Women do not bear all the financial costs for birth control. The Planned Parenthood-associated Guttmacher Institute reports that 16.1 percent of women rely on male condoms and another 9.9 percent the man’s vasectomy as their birth control method.
- According to Guttmacher, 6.3 percent of women rely on methods costing nothing — withdrawal and periodic abstinence.