I don’t want to go anywhere near the shitstorm that is the birth control debate in America. All I can say on this topic is that I think birth control should be as affordable and as accessible as possible for everyone. That is all.
Given this attitude, I’ve been pretty curious about how Asian countries sell birth control — and I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised. For example, in China, they have condoms everywhere. I guess this kind of makes sense, considering the country’s one child policy and all. But still, I’m impressed by how virtually every grocery/convenience store stacks condoms near cash registers, like the way candy bars are sold in the U.S., and carries just about every variety imaginable (denim style condoms! chrysanthemum flower condoms!). In a village near our school campus, they even have condom vending machines on street corners, which seems very thoughtful.
In Thailand, I saw that birth control pills are sold over the counter at regular old drugstores. They have dozens and dozens of varieties, from American brands to Thai ones, and they’re sold at a fraction of the cost. Yaz, a popular brand in the U.S., for example, is only 450 bahts ($14.55 USD). Compare that to the U.S. price of $92.99 per pack on drugstore.com, which also requires a doctor’s prescription, which will cost you another $XX for a pelvic exam and several hours of your life you’ll never get back. I should also add that Yaz seemed to be the most expensive BC at this store — others are a lot cheaper (a bit over $1 USD!). There are numerous articles and posts on-line about people buying birth control pills in bulk while they’re in Thailand.
So there you have it, friends. If you have trouble buying birth control in the U.S., just plan a vacation to Thailand. With the amount you save on the pills, the trip may end up paying for itself.