Representative Lauren Boebert recently said that “it’s cheaper to have a kid” than to pay for birth control. Was she joking around to make a point that birth control is too expensive?
Boebert does seem to have an intact sense of humor.
But Lauren Boebert isn’t especially astute, and the comment and the elaborate, associated story seemed as though they were meant to be taken at face value.
The comment came amidst a House Oversight and Accountability hearing “on the role of pharmacy benefit managers in prescription drug prices.” Boebert and other lawmakers were peppering witnesses with questions. When pharmacist owner Kevin J. Duane was in the hot seat, Boebert asked him if he often saw people leaving prescriptions behind at the counter because the prescriptions are too expensive.
“I left a prescription at a pharmacy once. I went to get birth control,” Lauren Boebert said. “And I was there at the counter and went to pay for it, and the price was very, very high. I said, ‘Wow, is this a three-, six-month prescription?’ No ma’am, this is one month’ And I said, ‘It’s cheaper to have a kid,’ and I left it there…. And now I have my third son, Kaydon Boebert. It turned out to be a really great thing. But I personally experienced that when times were tough.”
Unpacking Boebert’s comments
My first impression of Boebert’s story is that it never happened. I feel comfortable asserting, although I have no way of knowing, that the conversation Boebert described is absolutely fabricated.
Alas, the comment was indeed real.
Boebert might as well have set the conversation in Middle Earth or Tatooine.
And of course, it goes without saying, having a child is more expensive than paying for birth control.
According to the Brookings Institute, the average middle-income family with two children will spend $310,605 to raise a child born in 2015 up to age 17. That breaks down to about $16,000 per year. By contrast, according to the National Women’s Health Network, birth control (for the uninsured) costs between $20 and $50 per month, or between $240 and $500 annually. Like I said Boebert is not especially astute. Raising a child can be 62 times more expensive than paying for birth control.
Nevertheless, insurance should cover birth control, and everyone should have access to affordable health insurance. In part because of the figures I’ve listed above.
Birth control is drastically less expensive than raising a child. And when a family (or a single mom) cannot afford to raise a child, those costs will be outsourced to society at large.
Personally, I’d rather foot the bill for birth control. Not to mention, I think we should be doing what we can to prevent children from being born into situations where the child cannot be accommodated for, or is simply not welcome.
Anyways, I’m hesitant to give Lauren Boebert’s comments a platform but what she said deserved refuting.
Raising a kid is drastically more expensive than paying for birth control and Lauren Boebert knows that because she raised three kids.
She should appreciate the effort and investment that goes into raising a kid and have a little more respect for the process.
Then again, Lauren Boebert’s comments on birth control were far from the most outlandish thing she has said during her time as a member of the United States House of Representatives.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.