Having kids? Expensive. Not having kids? Also expensive.

One of the effects of the recently passed Deficit Reduction Act that has caught health centers across the country by surprise is the steep hike in the price of birth control medications â?? in some cases, prices have tripled. The act prevents health organizations, including Medicaid, from negotiating discounts on prescription medications. As a result, for example, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, NuvaRing, and Ortho Evra have increased to more than $50 per package from about $12 to $20.

The American Taliban has completely banned family-planning counseling by overseas NGOs, made serious inroads into the Roe v. Wade decision, made a farce of public-school sex education, and now they're pricing birth control out of reach of lower-income Americans.

Best start shopping for your burqas now, ladies â?? if another Republican gets elected President, we'll be wearing them by 2010.

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