At the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, Ann Coulter mocked the Obama administration for requiring health insurance to cover birth control by saying “birth control costs $20 a month; an abortion is $400 or $500 at the most, you don’t get insurance for that.” First of all, Coulter is wrong, or lying. Perhaps she’s never been without insurance herself and she doesn’t understand the difference between a co-payment and what something costs without insurance. Twenty dollars per month might be what one pays for the pill with insurance. Without it, you can pay over $100. This is, in other words, precisely what you have insurance for.
But just as disturbing is how economically out of touch such a leading conservative is. Coulter doesn’t think $240 per year for contraception or $500 for an abortion is unaffordable to anyone. Clearly, she’s never met many normal Americans. There are, in fact, milions of people—especially teenagers—who don’t have that money at their disposal.
Conservative callousness about the financial hardship of preventive medicine is not limited to Coulter. Foster Friess, a billionaire investor who is funding Rick Santorum’s Super PAC, went on MSNBC to discuss Santorum’s campaign. Asked whether Santorum’s exteme Christianist views are too conservative to win a general election, Friess dismissed such concerns. “This contraception thing, my gosh, it’s [so] inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they’d use Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.” It’s nice to know that wealthy 61-year-old men who exercise outsized influence over our political process have such compassionate and modern views on women’s reproductive health.
You can watch the video here: