This American in Britain Revels in Free NHS Contraception

Posted on March 12, 2009 by peacefulyorkshire

yahooavatar15American women are always talking about it when I go back home, that is the frustrations of their pricey insurance policies. “Why won’t my  insurance company pay for my birth control?” I’ve heard many American women ask. “Surely it is much cheaper then me getting pregnant and then covering my hospital bills!?” The thing is, when I used to live in America, I’ve always had that thought too about the American insurance system and contraception…

But here in Britain people still complain about health care too.The NHS gets a lot of slack from the British public– I am sure you’ve heard stories about people not getting the cancer treatment they need, the surgery lists of 678 people in queue for transplants. One British neurosurgeon once told me : “There are more neurologists in Manhattan ALONE then there are in ALL of Britain, and you want me to give you an MRI because you have a family history of tumors?” Need less to say I waited 9 months, and no MRI. It was not an option. Period. If you have a major issue the NHS might not be the best, which is why a lot of people “go private”.

BUT how about it you just need some little things, like say, your monthly birth control pills? How about if you need the morning after pill because let’s face it, mistakes happen?  That is where the NHS. has it right, because they are readily available from a doctor’s office, free,  and it makes total sense! Hand out birth control to women and they might have to shell out less in the future–

So, every time I walk away from my GP’s office with the standard 3 months supply of contraception, I feel liberated, and taken care of by my high tax contributions. And that is one of the reasons I like living in Britian. NO not because of the high tax contributions, silly, its the free pills!

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  4. peacefulyorkshire April 21, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Hi Teri–
    Your comment was great, the Yorkshire woman’s clinic I go to as well is full of teens waiting for STD checks. But at least they can go anonymously, and it is there, right? Heck, at least they GO!
    Its a feeling of complete freedom when you get handed that free supply of NHS BC pills in your hand…. its almost like someone is giving you free reign to lots of sex for 6 months.
    Call me crazy, but something is going on because it just is so satisfying to get handed those little square boxes.

  5. Teri April 20, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    I’m an American floating between the UK and the states [with monstrous visa woes!] and my life has been hellish for the past three months because of that. BUT! Today I went to Charing Cross hospital and within one hour I had 6 months of free pills in my hand. No exam. No waiting. No prescription. [Although, admittedly, there were quite a number of obnoxious teenage couples eating crisps and playing loudly with their sidekicks.]

    I almost hugged my doctor, and I certainly let her know my newfound love for her and the NHS. She said, “You’re not the first American to say so!” Not surprising.

    I am still in a state of euphoria. Three cheers for the NHS.

  6. Sirmelja March 27, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Hey girls, thanks for visiting my blog’s post about my similar experiences in Ireland (

    Here’s the update as of today (

    It’s one thing to hear about the delays in the public health system, it’s quite another to experience it even a little yourself! And pay “private” prices while you’re doing it :-(

  7. Iota March 12, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    How can it NOT make sense to make contraception free? I miss the NHS, but I think it was particularly good where we were (low population density), and it always seems good where children are involved, which is what we were mostly using it for.

  8. yankeebean March 12, 2009 at 12:11 am

    AMEN TO THAT!! For all it’s faults, the NHS is a God-send and I 100% appreciate it…

    Especially when my Mom tells me about her 95.00 dollar doctor bill just for a 15 minute check-up. It’s scandalous…

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