Stimulation — for the economy

Lawmakers should pass legislation allocating funds for contraceptives.

The proposed economic stimulus package will allocate roughly $800 billion to various programs, ranging from the military to scientific research. Recently ousted from that lump sum was a proposed $200 million that would have gone toward birth control. That money would have been given to state family planning services, such as Planned Parenthood, specifically for contraception. Lawmakers made an unwise decision in jettisoning that provision and we urge them to pass similar legislation this term. The birth control provision was strongly opposed by members of both houses of the Congress who feel it is too controversial. In an effort to gain bipartisan support for the bill, President Barack Obama, unfortunately, publicly stated that he feels the provision should be ousted from the package. But Nancy Pelosi, a main supporter of the provision, correctly argues that the $200 million would save on our federal funds overall by preventing unwanted pregnancies. The Congressional Budget Office concluded in a study that this portion of the bill would save the federal government $200 million over five years. In the scheme of an $800 billion stimulus package, $200 million is a small portion of the pie and could provide savings in the long term. Providing women who are utilizing state health assistance through Medicaid with access to contraception allows for economic relief. The economic advantages of contraception are irrefutable and itâÄôs disappointing that controversy has gotten in the way of a provision that would be beneficial for both the economy and families in a time of crisis.