UPDATED 1/26/2008: Katherine Spada of The Claremont Independent beautifully outlined why its dangerous and immoral from a free market perspective to subsidize the cost of birth control at Pomona.
The kernel of the argument is that it isn't the school's responsibility to subsidize the cost of other students' health and well-being. Why should everyone at the school pay for the cost of subsidizing others sexual activity? Take some responsibility for yourself. If you can't afford to have sex, maybe you ought to reconsider your priorities.
I, of course, agree on the personal responsibility argument, but unfortunately we've been losing the debate at other schools. Recently Princeton okayed the use of school funds for subsidized birth control at the cost of $69,000 per year.
The free market conservative in me also reflectively cringes at the idea of subsidies. When the schools subsidize a drug, they lock technology. For all we know, someone may be waiting to develop a cheaper, better birth control pill but for the federal subsidies that impede development.
Unfortunately, the issue refuses to die at Pomona where Elspeth Hilton is at it again.
The latest bit is from National Public Radio's Marketplace (They sure know a thing or two about subsidies!)
At Pomona College in Claremont, students want school officials to help pay for their prescriptions. Student body president Elspeth Hilton says if they don't, students will go to clinics in poor neighborhoods where the pill is still cheap.
Elspeth Hilton: There are so many communities that are not very wealthy, but they have a very wealthy college within it. And to have those wealthier students taking away the resources at nearby clinics I think has a really big impact on the whole community.
Just imagine if someone tried to make the argument that the company you work for should subsidize the cost of your birth control and that all your co-workers should help pay. They would be laughed out of the office. Why is college any different?