Jindal: Birth Control Should Be Over the Counter
Frankly, I’ve been wondering ever since he wrote this op-ed why the Obama-led Food and Drug Administration hasn’t done this in the four years they’ve been in charge. If it is solely for political reasons to try to benefit Democrats, they have a lot of explaining to do to the medical community and the public at large.
Logistically, it also make more sense. It’s less of a hassle for women who would no longer need to get a prescription and waste time at the doctor if they don’t need to. Also, a number of hormone therapy’s are already OTC, so why is this still being singled out?
(Or are we still haunted by the 1970s Senate hearings led by bad-science at the behest of “Liberal Icon” Gaylord Nelson?)
“As a conservative Republican, I believe that we have been stupid to let the Democrats demagogue the contraceptives issue and pretend, during debates about health care insurance, that Republicans are somehow against birth control,” Jindal wrote in The Wall Street Journal. “It’s a disingenuous political argument they make.”
Republican objections to mandatory birth control coverage in health insurance coverage were a major part of Democratic messaging toward women in the 2012 election cycle. Republicans wanted an exemption to the mandate for religious organizations. Jindal argues over-the-counter sales to those over 18 years of age would make this debate irrelevant.
“Democrats have wrongly accused Republicans of being against birth control and against allowing people to use it. That’s hogwash,” Jindal wrote. “But Republicans do want to protect those who have religious beliefs that are opposed to contraception. The latest opinion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is a common-sense call for reform that could yield a result everyone can embrace: the end of birth-control politics.”
If push comes to shove, individual states and stores can set up their own policies regarding access to those under the age of 18. My guess is you’ll see something similar to what stores like Walgreen’s do with sinus medicine and men’s shaving razor cartridges — you either have to show an ID, or seek out a store employee who has to open the cage for you.
“The Pill” has been available to the market since the 1960s, with numerous studies done on it in those fifty years since backing its safety, side effects, and so on. There’s no scientific reason to not make it over-the-counter, so it is time to let the last political reasons lapse too.