An Alaska lawmaker thinks birth control is so accessible in his state that family planning services shouldn’t be expanded, because he says that would amount to taxpayers funding sexual “recreation.”
State Sen. Fred Dyson (R) said Thursday in a floor speech that cost does not affect women’s access to contraception, since he said condoms cost “a dollar a piece” and the price of birth control pills is comparable to a coffee habit.
“You know, 4 or 5 lattes will pay the $18 a month,” he said. “So it’s my position that no one is prohibited from having birth control because of economic reasons.”
The issue was raised during discussion of a bill that clarifies when the state would pay for abortions under Medicaid, according to the Associated Press. That bill would also expand access to contraception.
Dyson said he researched birth control after another lawmaker suggested increased access to contraception could reduce the number of abortions in the state. He added that “sexual activity is recreation” and that no one who is trying to “procreate” uses birth control.
“I don’t think there is an overwhelming or compelling reason for the state or other people’s money to be required to finance other people’s recreation,” he said.
Radio station KTOO has video of Dyson’s remarks.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.