What If I Can’t Afford Birth Control? Just Google It!


Written by Scott Keys

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin — A Tea Party senator had a curious piece of advice for the millions of women across the country who can’t afford contraception coverage: go online and Google how to get birth control.

ThinkProgress spoke with freshman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) about the matter this weekend at the Americans For Prosperity’s Defending the American Dream Summit in Milwaukee. Johnson has been vociferous in his attacks on the new regulation that requires insurance companies to cover birth control.

Given his opposition, we asked the Wisconsin senator what advice he would have for women in the country who can’t afford the cost of contraception. (A recent survey found one in three American women voters have struggled with to afford birth control.) Johnson’s advice: go online and type in, “what if I can’t afford birth control?” “If you can’t afford it, you can get birth control in this country,” Johnson explained. When we asked for clarification, he said, “You can get it. Go online, type it in. It’s easy to get.”

KEYES: What do we say to the millions of women who can’t afford access to birth control?

JOHNSON: My wife actually went online here in Wisconsin and typed in, “what if I can’t afford birth control?” Came up, bam. If you can’t afford it, you can get birth control in this country. That’s a straw-dog argument. There’s no conservative who’s trying to deny women health care or contraceptives. We’re just saying this is an issue of religious freedom. [...]

KEYES: What do you mean, “if you can’t afford it you can get it?”

JOHNSON: You can get it. Go online, type it in. It’s easy to get.

Watch it:

ThinkProgress went online and Googled “what if I can’t afford birth control?” The very first link explained that the entire process, from the initial exam to a follow-up to the pills themselves, can cost upwards of $210 the first month. The rest of the first-page results included two sites informing women that if they can’t afford contraceptives, “don’t have sex,” four sites attacking Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, and one site explaining how birth control is a lot more expensive than many believe.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


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Photo from Gage Skidmore via flickr


Ralph Gardner
Ralph Gardner5 years ago

Elizabeth MC...just echoing Carole L's comments...my own simply that you're quite naive which is what the Repub leadership depends upon re their 'constituents'...aka sheep. The strategy is clear: simply by any means necessary shut down the number of clinics, cut Federal spending and support legislation that is 'invasive' enough to heighten the difficulty of having health-care. Which is how you attack abortion, i.e., how you legislate your 'religious' beliefs legally...this is totally a circumvention of the First Amendment's principle of religious freedom. Here the Repubs are using government to be invasive (when they're telling you they want govt out of your life...is a big contradiction) in the most intimate way imaginative possible. Seriously, this is a 'Forrest Gump' moment...

Carole L.
Carole L5 years ago

Elizabeth MC
“If they are truly that destitute, they can get it free at planned parenthood and at any number of title ten clinic locations.”

Do you even WATCH the news?! Many gop run states have “defuded planned parenthood” because someone might get an abortion. They are shutting down clinic after clinic cutting off heath services the poor. Why don’t you just say; “Let them eat cake”

This is from you very own FAUX NOISE; http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/04/28/states-fight-defunding-planned-parenthood/
{ Kansas, Indiana, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Texas are among the states who are taking up the fight that the GOP-led House couldn't finish when the White House and the Democratic-controlled Senate risked a government shutdown to protect Planned Parenthood from Republican knives.}

Carole L.
Carole L5 years ago

Elizabeth MC
“A prescription is required for birth control pills.
How hard is it to ask your provider about affordable birth control?”

You see Elizabeth, it’s like this; the far right want to deny woman access to contraception coverage thru their provider under guise of religious freedom. So a provider can deny contraception coverage period under guise of religious freedom, or moral objection. So if we are gungho with ‘protecting’ religious freedom ala dictate of the Catholic Church, shall we then outlaw divorce as well because of an issue of religious freedom? Why stop there?

Carole L.
Carole L5 years ago

There’s no conservative who’s trying to deny women health care or contraceptives. We’re just saying this is an issue of religious freedom.”

You just toss around “issue of religious freedom” like taffee in a parade. You don’t give a damn about religious freedom. You just want to control women’s uteruses.

Elizabeth MC
“If a woman is too dumb not to know how to google search for affordable birth control, she shouldn't even be having sex.”

If a woman is too dumb to realize when her reproductive and health rights are under attack should just put an aspirin between her knees..

Carole L.
Carole L5 years ago

what gives them the right to dictate what kind of Health Insurance coverage a woman can buy

Patrick F.
Patrick f5 years ago

Johnson swings like a johnson swings....

Gloria H.
Gloria H5 years ago

too old to get pregnant, however NO ONE is too old to get STD. Us old farts are now becoming a rising population getting HIV.
If you don't have a computer (imagine!!! some people STILL don't have one) how are you going to get on google in the first place? arrogant bastard thinks everyone has a smart phone! Bet his cohorts in office make sure their mistresses use some form of birth control!!!!

Geraldine Ley
Geraldine Ley5 years ago

Someone please tell me. What reason could any woman possibly have to vote for this moron?

He is an idiot and as for his wife, she probably does everything he tells her without question because she doesn't have a mind of her own.

Shar F.
Sharon F5 years ago

How did we get to this point, where ' two-legged trash' are making laws/policy in the states and federal government?? What happened with the knitted uteruses' that were sent to nutty neo-con Rethugnicans? How did they react?

I say we should send them a piece of paper with diagram of balls/penis to remind that
1) We do not want to pay for their Viagara
2) The diagram demonstrates what causes pregnancies.

Tony C.
Tony C5 years ago

If more women don't realize that their rights are speedily being taken away by the narrow minded politicians and don't act by voting them out of office, there will come a day when they will ask themselves, what happened to my rights?? By that time it will be too late. The future of women who have to put up with all this bull of contraception, abortion and many others is leading them down the path to second class citizenship. Women have so much power but they don't realize it. If women went on strike in the kitchen and the bedroom I believe things would change quickly and for the better.