Hoyer Takes Fluke 'At Her Word' on $3,000 Birth Control

By Matt Cover | March 6, 2012 | 9:33pm EST

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that he takes Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke “at her word” about the high cost of birth control, which she told a House panel last week can cost over $3,000 while in law school.

At the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, CNSNews.com asked Rep. Hoyer’s office the following question: “Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke told Congress contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 in law school if her insurance doesn’t cover it. Yet the Target store 3 miles from Georgetown Law sells a month’s supply of birth control pills for $9 to people whose insurance does not cover the pills. Was Fluke’s testimony accurate?”

In an e-mail to CNSNews.com, Hoyer’s spokesman Daniel Reilly said:  “Mr. Hoyer takes Ms. Fluke at her word and believes she provided accurate testimony to the [Democratic] Steering & Policy Committee regarding important women’s health issues.”

On Feb. 23, Fluke was the sole witness who appeared before an all-Democratic panel chaired by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke. (AP Photo)

Fluke, the 30-year-old past president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice, said she was testifying in support of the Obamacare regulation that requires all health insurance plans--including those offered by Catholic universities--to cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives. She said she wanted to tell the stories of some women at Georgetown Law who were affected by the fact that the student health-care plan at the Catholic university does not cover contraceptives.

As part of her testimony, Fluke said, “Without insurance coverage, contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school,” Fluke said. “For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that’s practically an entire summer’s salary. Forty percent of female students at Georgetown Law report struggling financially as a result of this policy.”

“One student told us of how embarrassed and powerless she felt when she was standing at the pharmacy counter, learning for the first time that contraception wasn’t covered, and had to walk away because she couldn’t afford it," said Fluke. "Women like her have no choice but to go without contraception.”

The Pill (Wikipedia Commons)

“Just last week," Fluke further testified, "a married female student told me she had to stop using contraception because she couldn’t afford it any longer. Women employed in low wage jobs without contraceptive coverage face the same choice."

“You might respond that contraception is accessible in lots of other ways," Fluke told the Democratic panel. "Unfortunately, that's not true."

However, as CNSNews.com has confirmed, birth control pills are available for as little as $9 per month for people without health insurance at the Target pharmacy just three miles from the Georgetown Law school campus where Fluke attends. Target offers Tri-Sprintec, the generic form of the birth-control pill Ortho Tri-Cyclen.

A CVS pharmacy only two blocks from the Georgetown Law campus also sells a month's supply of the same generic birth control pills for $33.

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