Law student and reproductive rights activist Sandra Fluke. (AP Photo)
(CNSNews.com) – Although Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke testified to the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee last month that contraception can cost a law student $3,000 over three years and that some of her fellow students could not afford it, a Target store only 3 miles from the law school currently sells a month's supply of birth control pills for only $9 to people who do not have insurance plans covering contraceptives.
That would make the total cost for birth control pills for a student who decided to use them for all three years of law school just $324.
Fluke was the sole witness who appeared on Feb. 23 before an all-Democratic panel chaired by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Fluke, the 30-year-old past president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice, said she was testifying in support of the Obamacare regulation that requires all health insurance plans--including those offered by Catholic universities--to cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives. She said she wanted to tell the stories of some women at Georgetown Law who were affected by the fact that the student health-care plan at the Catholic university does not cover contraceptives.
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(The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has said that forcing Catholics and Catholic institutions to provide insurance coverage for sterilizations, contraceptive and abortifacients forces Catholics to violate Catholic teaching and is a violation of the free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment.)
“Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during
law school," Fluke said. "For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that’s practically an entire summer’s salary. Forty percent of female students at Georgetown Law report struggling financially as a result of this policy.
“One student told us of how embarrassed and powerless she felt when she was standing at the pharmacy counter, learning for the first time that contraception wasn’t covered, and had to walk away because she couldn’t afford it," said Fluke. "Women like her have no choice but to go without contraception."
“Just last week," Fluke testified, "a married female student told me she had to stop using contraception because she couldn’t afford it any longer. Women employed in low wage jobs without contraceptive coverage face the same choice."
“You might respond that contraception is accessible in lots of other ways," Fluke told the Democratic panel. "Unfortunately, that's not true."
CNSNews.com confirmed, however, that the Target store at 3100 14th St. NW, in Washington, D.C. which is 3 miles from the Georgetown Law campus, offers Tri-Sprintec, the generic form of the birth-control pill Ortho Tri-Cyclen. Target sells a month's supply of this birth control pill for just $9 to individuals without health insurance coverage for the pills.
A CVS pharmacy only two blocks from the Georgetown Law campus also sells a month's supply of the same generic birth control pills for $33.
Tri-Sprintec is an FDA-approved prescription drug and is the generic version of Ortho Tri-Cyclen. The Physician's Desk Reference (PDR) says it is for: "Prevention of pregnancy." It is also decrease the risk of ovarian or endometrial cancer and, for some women, to fight acne.