Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Brazil to Subsidize the Pill

Interesting news from Brazil:

(SAO PAULO) — President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced a new program Monday to sharply decrease unwanted pregnancies in Latin America's largest nation by subsidizing birth control pills.

Less than a month after Pope Benedict XVI criticized government-backed birth control measures during a visit to Brazil, Silva said the plan will give poor Brazilians "the same right that the wealthy have to plan the number of children they want."

Brazil already hands out free condoms and birth control pills at government-run pharmacies across Latin America's largest nation.

But many poor people in the nation of 190 million don't go to those pharmacies, so the government decided to offer the pills at significantly reduced prices at 3,500 private drug stores, said Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao.

The number of drug stores offering the subsidized pills should rise to 10,000 by the end of this year, Temporao said. When the 100 million real (US$51 million) program is fully under way, the government will be handing out 50 million packages of birth control pills each year.

Each government-subsidized package — with enough pills to last a month — will cost 0.40 Brazilian reals (US$0.20). They now retail for 5 reals (US$2.56) to 50 reals (US$25.60).

Read the whole thing.

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At 8:10 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

That America so obviously lags behind even developing nations in healthcare and social awareness is disheartening and disgusting.

At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it think it's disheartening and disgusting that you presume that the government should be not only advocating but encouraging people to have free-for-all sex without the risk of pregnancy, as if that is what we need...more broken people who don't know what real love is and only live for the moment. that is the real disheartening thing and not to mention, disgusting

At 11:45 PM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 10:24 PM,

disheartening and disgusting--I don't think the words mean what you think they do.

On a serious note, not only do I *presume* that a government should be advocating (and encouraging) responsible public health policies--reducing the number of unintended pregnancies, decreasing women's morbidity and mortality--I *expect* it.

free-for-all sex without the risk of pregnancy

This makes no sense. No matter what odd modifier (? free-for-all? What does that even mean in context?) you attach to sex, there's always a risk of unintended pregnancy if you're sexually active and you're in the repro age group.

as if that is what we need...more broken people who don't know what real love is and only live for the moment

I couldn't agree with you more; that's not what we need at all.

So, since forcing medical decisions upon people against their will, like forced gestation, results in nothing but more broken people who don't know what real love is and only live for the moment (what with the increased risks of pregnancy, it's not like they have the luxury of long-term plans), we should all support policies that reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. [Not to mention, policies that keep the government out of our medical decisions.]


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