A problem that affects the population’s sexual health and continues to appear in the media in much too lukewarm of a fashion, is the fact that four of the seven major brands of birth control pills have not been available for months in the Netherlands, including the most popular non-name brand.
Most companies didn’t exactly shout from the rooftops that they could no longer supply their products. Even though the government is acutely aware of the situation, calls it ‘a scandal’ and promised to sort it out in September, we’re approaching December and the problem persists. Production upgrades that went awry and attempts to fix the problems have caused a pile of problems that genuinely qualify as a clusterfuck.
According to Rutgers, a sexual and reproductive health organisation, 63% of Dutch women between 18 and 24 use the pill as their main contraception, and in this case, it is the no-name, major brand pill that’s been entirely unavailable. In this country, it is policy to prescribe no-name cheaper brands before anything else, and I’m sure price and having taken the Pill out of the free healthcare package not helping in any way, shape or form.
Options? Buying pills off Dutch auction sites for ‘usurious prices’, including buying pills from dubious sources as if it were illegal drugs. Why a problem that affects more than half of the population – it’s an issue for women and their partners! – can’t be solved is not just a scandal, it’s a general health hazard and embarrassing for such a rich country.
(Links: vice.com, nos.nl)
Tags: birth control, misogyny, pills, women
In the Netherlands and surely elsewhere there are phone apps you can use to ask people to pay for their share of things, like dinner or something else that needs to be split up. One twentysomething Dutch woman decided to send her exes a payment request for her birth control pills, with the idea that it remains very odd for women to bear the entire burden for it including paying for it, while men don’t have to do anything.
Until age 21, the Dutch basic insurance covers the pill, but after age 21, you have to pay for it yourself. The price also depends on which pill someone takes. Microgynon 30 is one of the most used pill and costs less than 30 euro a year. An IUD costs between 70 and 150 euro, and the price for having it inserted is between the 250 and 500 euro. If I remember correctly, until recently it was way cheaper to have it inserted.
If a Dutch woman takes the pill for 30 years, that’s still 900 euro she has to pay on her own. That’s not a ridiculous amount, but again why do women have to pay for it themselves? It’s just as much men’s responsibility to make sure that pregnancy does not occur when that’s the plan, and still men have no side effects whatsoever.
The trend in the Netherlands (at least from what I can see as of late) is that women don’t want to be solely responsible for contraception and unwanted pregnancies.
The woman doesn’t send her ex partners a huge bill, but asks for a 1,50 euro contribution. She got reasonable responses and payments from three ex partners. Then again, splitting the cost of condoms is surely also a reasonable request.
Maybe the Dutch are onto something.
(Link: vice.com, Photo by Flickr user Spec-ta-cles, some rights reserved)
Tags: birth control, sexism, women