As the old saying goes: “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. When it comes to contraceptives, that might be an understatement.
When women – Millennials especially – have access to affordable birth control, unplanned pregnancy rates plummet. You can talk about how millennials can save money or how to increase your income, but most of that pales in comparison to what it costs to raise a child.
According to one study, the government saves more than $7 for every dollar it spends on family planning. Extrapolating that out a few years to cover the drastically rising cost of healthcare and accounting for inflation, we find that in 2016, $17 billion was saved due to public family planning programs.
This holds even more truth for single mothers, who already earn slightly below what their married peers bring home. Having a baby is one of the most expensive decisions most individuals will make. On the other hand, most contraceptives can be purchased for under a couple hundred dollars a year, or given out for free if you earn under a certain amount of money.
Giving Millennials the freedom to make contraceptive decisions has already resulted in a net gain to the bottom line of the federal government. Planned children typically do much better in school and have better home lives than those who are unplanned, leading to even less strain on governmental budgets.
When it comes to personal budgets, affordable birth control leads to healthier financial choices, resulting in fewer bankruptcies, better credit scores, and far fewer unplanned pregnancies, all of which contribute to an individual’s financial well-being.
Ultimately, it is hard to quantify exactly how much the U.S. government is saving when they make birth control affordable and give out information about how to use it properly. However, it’s likely that the true savings are exponentially greater than what we can see on paper.