Campus contraceptive costs spike

Plus, Texas considers offering women financial incentives to choose adoption instead of abortion.

Published March 23, 2007 11:02PM (EDT)

Associated Press: Birth-control-pill costs are spiking for many college students now that changes to Medicaid rebate policies are taking effect. And by spiking, the AP means increasing to twice or three times the price students are used to. An estimated 39 percent of college women currently use oral contraceptives, and, the AP reports, the increase has raised "concerns among health officials that some will shift to less preferred contraceptives or stop using them altogether." Oy.

Huffington Post: Texas state senator Dan Patrick -- who, it must be said, is probably a lot less interested in actually implementing this plan than he is in stirring up a Coulter-style culture-wars kerfuffle -- has proposed a bill that would give pregnant Texans who go to abortion clinics $500 for carrying their fetuses to term rather than having abortions. (On the off chance Patrick is serious, though, it's worth noting that if he wants these reluctant mothers-to-be to follow prenatal-care instructions, $500 probably won't even offset the cost of prenatal vitamins, healthy food, doctor and hospital visits and maternity clothes.) Anyway, HuffPo's Chris Kelly is pretty funny about the proposal: "The only people who can get the money to have a baby are those who've proven -- by going to an abortion clinic -- that they don't want a baby. If you don't want to have a baby, you can get $500 to have a baby, but only if you don't want it. That's some catch, that Catch 22."

Feminist Daily Newswire: On Thursday, Mississippi governor Haley Barbour signed a trigger law that will criminalize abortions in the event that Roe V. Wade is overturned. The law would make exceptions for cases of rape or in which a woman's life was threatened, but, proving that Mississippi lawmakers aren't sensitive to Southerner jokes, there would be no incest exception.

Glamour: In the cultural clash over work/family balance, many have noted that staying at home with the kids can deprive women (and men, when men are the ones who take primary parenting duty) of financial independence and Social Security benefits and leave tricky resume gaps in the event that they later choose to return to work. This month, in a piece by "The Feminine Mistake" author Leslie Bennett, Glamour magazine tackles the topic, provoking some fierce responses in its readers' forum. Linda Hirshman would be proud!

Get to Work: And speaking of Hirshman, a recent post in her blog throws down with the Columbia Journalism Review over whether it's worthwhile to pay attention to the opting-out habits of affluent, educated women (among other things). Scuffle!

One more from the AP: Sadly, South Carolina officially banned same-sex marriage this week (though Nerve's Scanner notes that cousin marriage still seems to be legal). In brighter news, a state House panel in New Hampshire gave the green light to civil unions. A full House vote is expected next week.

By Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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