Not hard at all, at least in New York City, as Charles C. W. Cooke reports:
Were one to have listened uncritically to the more hysterical elements in America’s news media over the past month, one would have concluded that contraception is intractably hard to come by in the United States; but a cursory glance at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s well-appointed website gives quite the opposite impression. There, contrarily, visitors are informed that anyone in need of contraception is somewhat spoiled for choice.
If the website’s extensive online search facility does not meet with their approval, habitués can instead call 311 and ask for advice directly. And the more tech savvy — or, perhaps, desperately mobile — can download the free “NYC Condom” app to their Windows, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android smartphones and have its GPS service direct them to the nearest provider of free contraception with devastating accuracy. Never has a society been so precisely and easily led to safe sex. (One might well ask whether someone who can afford a smartphone and its attendant bills is genuinely in need of an app that locates “free” — i.e., paid for by taxpayers — condoms, but then this is 21st-century America, and New York’s mayor is Michael Bloomberg, so such petite questions are unavoidably consumed by bigger ones.)
The NYC Condom program’s not-so-subtle slogan is “Grab a handful and go,” which, having set out yesterday to source some myself, I found to be rather a solid description of the process. And the Department of Health’s offerings are not just generous but also various: “NYC”-branded condoms are available for both men and women, and in addition to the curiously titled “Lifestyles Alternative Condom,” complimentary “Personal Lubricant” is also available at select locations.
Read the entire NRO piece, “My Contraceptive Haul”, which concludes with Cooke writing, “Next time someone tells you that, if the federal government does not force all health insurers to cover contraception without raising premiums, the sky is going to fall, why not take him for a walk in a major urban area? You’ll only have to go a couple of blocks.”