If you don't have insurance, birth control costs a lot more than a couple cups of coffee. The generic of the pill I'm prescribed costs $60 a month. Sure, some generics may cost as little as $8 a month, but you can only buy what you have a prescription for, and different birthcontrols have different effects on different people. If your body doesn't react well to some of the cheaper ones, then they aren't an option. Some people suggest that we all just switch to condoms, but birth control is more effective, and you easier for a woman to control. Plus, non-latex condoms are more expensive and less effective than the regular kind, but if you have a sensitivity to latex, like I do, they're the type you'd have to use if you want to have sex more than once a week-- and I think it's safe to assume that a lot of young folk want to have sex more than once a week, and also not get pregnant.
What's also interesting is that it seems like a lot of people who are opposed to birth control or to having birth control covered by insurance are conflating a need for birth control with "screw[ing] everything in sight". I'm all for people sleeping around if that's what works for them and keeps them happy in life... but statements like that are ignoring the fact that a lot of people who use birth control are in monogamous relationships, and others may be single and having sex quite rarely. I'm married. I'm a newlywed. My husband and I aren't ready for children yet. Birth control is what keeps us, a monogamous married couple, from having an unwanted pregnancy that we aren't financially or emotionally ready to deal with.
After a lot of research, I decided hormonal birth control is a better fit for me than an IUD or condoms (though I am considering looking into the arm implant, after I get insurance). I've decided it is a WAY better fit than trying to track my fertility, since so many women do not have consistent cycles based on changes in diet, stress, and exposure to other women. As I don't have insurance, so I pay $720 a year on the generic of the birth control my doctor prescribed, and i consider myself lucky that I'm not paying $1080 a year for it, the way a friend of mine who was prescribed birth control for non-contraceptive reasons does.