ONTD Political

Birth Control Pill Tax: Forbes Writer Argues Women On Hormonal Contraceptive Pills Should Pay More

10:26 am - 06/07/2012

While President Obama wants to grant women access to free birth control, this guy thinks women ought to pay more for access to contraception -- $1,500 per year more, to be precise.


It's true. Forbes.com contibutor Tim Worstall, who himself admits that the idea sounds "entirely absurd," argues in a recent column that because of the pollutive effects of contraceptive pills, women should be charged a tax of £1,000, or $1,500, to help fund upgraded sewage treatment systems.

Worstall writes:

The basic problem is that the hormones in the pill itself, the hormones which produce the desired contraceptive effect, then end up in the sewage system as part of the normal function of kidneys and bladders in human beings. Those hormones are then not captured by the standard sewage treatments and end up being released into the fresh water of the area. Where they are believed to cause sex changes in fish.

The hormone in question is called ethinyl estradiol (EE2) and is the main active ingredient in birth control pills, according to the Guardian. The hormone causes fish to develop both male and female traits, therefore inhibiting population growth.

It would cost the EU £30 billion, or more than $46 billion, to remove the hormone from rivers, streams and other drinking supplies in England and Wales alone, the Guardian reports.

It's not just the UK that's being polluted by the contraceptive pills. According to a story that ran in the Guardian in 2010, more than 80 percent of male bass fish in Washington D.C.'s Potomac River exhibit female traits, likely the result of drugs and chemicals deposited in the water. A 2009 report found that one third of the fish tested at 111 sites across the U.S. were "intersex," or exhibited both male and female traits.

Worstall dismisses the idea of making pharmaceutical companies pay for the mess their products create, saying that such a move could cause women to have to pay more for contraception, to the tune of £1,000 per year.

"It is their [women's] choice to use the pill," Worstall writes. "However, their choice of method of doing so imposes costs on the rest of us, upon the society at large."

Worstall's point of view has caused quite a raucous across the blogosphere.

Jezebel's Cassie Murdoch writes:

Fingers crossed that we all keep in mind that contraception is a society-wide issue, not a women's issue. If men want us to take the pill so they can sex us up without worrying about polluting the world through overpopulation, then they should also share the burden of paying to protect the environment from our resultant toxic pee.

AN: Forehead smack. Forever. So many causes but it all comes down to the cootch as the root of every evil. PS: If I posted this twice, sorry! My internet cut out the first go around.

EDIT: Eeek! SAUCE! I'm sorry I thought I added it the first go around! :|
lone_concertina 7th-Jun-2012 05:55 pm (UTC)
Why doesn't he find another more accessible method for us to use and then start whining about it. Because I can see not wanting all those hormones in our water system, but you can't tell use an IUD is a better option when that shit costs hundreds (or a thousand) of dollars I don't have.
saint_monkey 7th-Jun-2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
vasectomy = $400 bucks

best money i EVER spent.
oceandezignz 7th-Jun-2012 07:53 pm (UTC)
Heathen!!! Its a man's God given privilege to throw his white baby batter all over the world! To end that means you are going against everything good decent and overbearing in this world.

How could you...
girly123 8th-Jun-2012 06:36 am (UTC)
A thousand? Were are you going that an IUD costs a thousand? I mean, they're stupid expensive, no lie, but I haven't heard of them being THAT expensive, even without insurance.
thenakedcat 8th-Jun-2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
Planned Parenthood lists the cost one should expect for an IUD at $500-1000, when the cost of the preliminary exam/insertion/any followup exams are factored in, and I can believe that would be the case, especially for women who are under/uninsured and don't have access to a sliding-scale clinic.
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