With the help of Post ie Sally Quinn, Marion Barry tried to endear himself to the incoming Republican Congress by saying that women on public assistance should receive Norplant, a time-release, surgically implanted contraceptive that lasts for up to five years. Quinn may have bought Barry’s line, but anyone who has read a recent General Accounting Office (GAO) report on the cost of Norplant must realize that Barry is endorsing a politically expedient proposal he knows will never be enacted. According to the report, the prohibitive price of Norplant has prevented federally subsidized clinics from making it widely available. Wyeth-Ayerst, a subsidiary of American Home Products, sells Norplant in the U.S. for $365 per five-year dose. In the United Kingdom, Norplant is sold by another licensed company for only $265, in Sweden for $51, and in developing countries for $23. Even when the cost of Norplant is subsidized for low- income American women, most must pay at least part of the surgical expenses. According to the GAO, the sliding-scale charges for implanting the contraceptive range from $35 to $385; removal costs between $162 and $250.