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USG asked to aid women in quest for cheaper birth control

With the last meeting of the semester, the Undergraduate Student Government wrapped up some issues and listened to a guest from the BGSU Organization for Women’s Issues last night.

Krista Corwin, who is the president of the organization on campus asked for USG’s support in an effort to make birth control pills more affordable for college women.

“As I look around the room, nearly more than half of you are men – and that’s not a criticism but I’m really asking for your support on this for women,” Corwin said.

The contraceptive became more expensive after a bill Congress passed three years ago affecting college women across the country. And since then, many women have struggled to pay the steeper prices in order to have birth control pills Corwin said.

“Birth control pills used to cost around $18 a month, but now they are more around the $50 – $60 price range here at the University and over time that equals the cost of textbooks,” she said.

Pharmaceutical companies used to sell birth control to college pharmacies in bulk, which allowed for women to pay a lower rate, but since the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act by Congress in 2005, birth control prices rose.

“This is a real problem for many women right here on our campus and I’m asking for your support in getting something done about this,” Corwin said.

Corwin believes if USG were to write a resolution and then pass that resolution, it would help once that bill moved to Faculty Senate and other executive committees.

One senator wanted to know specifically how many people on campus may be affected by the higher cost of birth control.

“Do you have any statistics or numbers for people affected at the University?” asked Senator Johnnie Lewis.

Corwin didn’t have any numbers with her, but stated that she knows many women that have complained about the high cost of birth control. She mentioned a petition with 440 names of women from the University to reverse the bill passed by Congress three years ago.

“I have heard so many stories from women who are having a hard time affording birth control,” she said. “I even spoke to a woman who said she was paying around $130 a month for birth control.”

She also pointed out that birth control is not used only for preventing pregnancy.

“Many women need birth control for other reasons than as a contraceptive,” Corwin said. “Some women take it for endometriosis and other medical reasons.”

Getting birth control at an affordable price is difficult because of the way most insurance companies operate said Corwin.

“Most insurance companies see birth control as a luxury item, but for most women it is a necessity-not a luxury,” she said.

Action must take place quickly so Corwin urged USG to take action soon.

“We’re really hoping for this to pass through,” Corwin said.

In other business, USG President John Waynick updated attendants of the meeting of progress of the international fee waiver issue. The resolution failed in Faculty Senate, but Waynick said that didn’t mean the issue was over.

“Just because our resolution was shot down doesn’t mean that is necessarily the end,” Waynick said.

Near closing of the meeting, USG Vice President Sundeep Mutgi encouraged members to relax during the break.

“I like to think of USG like TiVo; we can pause and pick right back up where we left last semester,” Mutgi said.

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