Skip to comments.Will GOPs Back Bobby Jindalís Push to Put the Pill Over the Counter?
Posted on 12/20/2012 7:52:04 AM PST by SeekAndFind
At American pharmacies, a woman can get the controversial morning-after pill without a prescription but not the basic daily pill for issues ranging from birth control to painful periods.
One conservative Republican says its time to put contraception over the counter, in accordance with recent guidance from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, eliminating the mandate that has angered religious employers and taking the wind out of the Democrats sails on birth-control politics.
As a Roman Catholic, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal understands why groups have filed suit against the Obama administrations mandate to provide birth control without co-payment.
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. Its a disingenuous political argument they make, Jindal wrote last week in the Wall Street Journal.
As an unapologetic pro-life Republican, I also believe that every adult (18 years old and over) who wants contraception should be able to purchase it. But anyone who has a religious objection to contraception should not be forced by government health-care edicts to purchase it for others. And parents who believe, as I do, that their teenage children shouldnt be involved with sex at all do not deserve ridicule, he added.
Jindal contends that continuing the status quo would needlessly add to healthcare costs while lining the pockets of pharmaceutical companies.
Contraception is a personal matter the government shouldnt be in the business of banning it or requiring a womans employer to keep tabs on her use of it. If an insurance company or those purchasing insurance want to cover birth control, they should be free to do so. If a consumer wants to buy birth control on her own, she should be free to do so, he wrote.
But will the GOP sign on to this plan to defuse a combustible Dem talking point (see most of the 2012 DNC)?
Its difficult to tell right now. Jindals op-ed was published mere hours before the Newtown, Conn., school shooting seized the headlines and the attention of every lawmaker on Capitol Hill, turning the lame-duck narrative toward a gun control debate.
Liberals are split on Jindals call, simultaneously praising him for an enlightened viewpoint and accusing him of pandering to independent and Democratic voters while not-so-secretly wanting to torpedo the controversial ObamaCare mandate.
Jindal understands that, like it or not, Democrats were quite successful at demagoguing Republicans this year over their opposition to the contraception mandate. And yet, the Republican base is still dead set against the idea that religious institutions should be required to pay for contraceptives for their employees. How to square this circle? wrote Kevin Drum at Mother Jones. Easy: if contraceptives are sold over the counter, then the issue disappears.
Putting the pill over the counter gives contraception advocates the universal access they wanted more women would use it without a doctors visit being required. But some argue that access will be restricted if theres any out-of-pocket expense even if going over the counter knocks the price down as expected and is comparable to buying a box of Pepcid or Claritin. They also contend that other, more expensive contraceptives such as IUDs should still be covered through a government mandate, and that kids under 18 should have access to the pill, too. See Sandra Fluke for this train of thought.
The idea here is that, oh, OK, now we have to pay for it again? To me that sounds like thanks but no thanks. We won the election, thanks, Christina Page, author of How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America, told the Daily Beast in reaction to Jindals op-ed.
One cant imagine that opposing OTC contraceptives would look good to voters in either party who want convenience and savings and would cheer at the idea of not having to go through a doctor to get a pill they may have been using for years.
Not to say that opposition wont come from Jindals side, though, in the form of social conservatives who just wouldnt want wider access to birth control.
Pro-lifers tend to believe that contraception is the root cause of many societal evils; divorce, rampant misuse of sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, and abortion, Austin Ruse wrote at First Things. Perhaps, though, the toothpaste will never get back in that tube.
Democrats have wrongly accused Republicans of being against birth control and against allowing people to use it. Thats hogwash, Jindal wrote. But Republicans do want to protect those who have religious beliefs that are opposed to contraception.
Still, Jindal got chided by the church even though he made his personal views clear. The Archdiocese of New Orleans disagrees with Governor Jindals stance on this issue, as the use of birth control and contraceptives are against Catholic Church teaching, Sarah Comiskey McDonald, communications director for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, told EWTN News Dec. 14.
Jindal could open a new conversation in Washington, though, as there hasnt been legislative attention to this sort of unfettered contraceptive access this Congress.
Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced the Religious Freedom Protection Act of 2012 which has been stuck in committee since February to address the key concern with Obamas mandate. Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) introduced a bill that would expand contraception education in an effort to prevent teen pregnancy. Nothings come close to what Jindal proposes.
Access and cost issues are common reasons why women either do not use contraception or have gaps in use. A potential way to improve contraceptive access and use, and possibly decrease unintended pregnancy rates, is to allow over-the-counter access to oral contraceptives (OCs), the obstetricians and gynecologists group wrote in their committee opinion. Weighing the risks versus the benefits based on currently available data, OCs should be available over-the-counter. Women should self-screen for most contraindications to OCs using checklists.
Women who take the pill would find such checklists very familiar: smoking increases risks, shouldnt be taken with a history of blood clots, taking antibiotics decreases efficacy, etc.
Considering his experience as the head of Louisianas Department of Health and Hospitals (at age 24) and as an assistant secretary of Health and Human Services in the George W. Bush administration, Jindal has the credentials to back up his proposal.
He also likely has a 2016 ambition to move it forward.
Jindals race began with a shot at Mitt Romney soon after the election.
What the president, presidents campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote, Romney said in a mea culpa call with top donors shortly after his loss.
The new chairman of the Republican Governors Association, at a press conference at the groups meeting in Las Vegas, lashed out at the comments as absolutely wrong.
One, we have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote, Jindal said.
And though his birth control message may be viewed cynically as simply an attempt to woo women voters, Jindals proposal serves a greater purpose of letting the GOP launch a key offensive on the Democrats war on women narrative while putting at ease those who object to having to pay for employees birth control.
Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media
Most oral contraceptives sometimes act as an abortifacient. This is not just a matter of Catholic Church discipline, but of natural law.
Seems like a common sense idea to me.
There is no reason whatsoever that the birth control cannot be sold over the counter.
Except that Obama wants women to get it for free.
There is nothing in BC pills that causes anything life-threatening on an immediate basis. Most womens go to a GYN annually, that’s good enough.
But the medicos....hey, when you offer this sort of thing OTC...THEN THEY LOSE APPOINTMENT MONEY!!
If Fluke and her sisters want to get angry, raise a ruckous over the silly rule that birth control pills require a prescription. That’s a joke.
We need more pubs coming out with this, make Americans stop and think.
” The Archdiocese of New Orleans disagrees with Governor Jindals stance on this issue, as the use of birth control and contraceptives are against Catholic Church teaching, “
Is this the same Catholic church whose parishioners gave Obama 50% of the vote?
You may not realize this, but this would be a wedge issue that would split the conservative coalition apart.
I agree with Jindal. No reason the birth control pill can’t be sold OTC. Of course, Obama would rather use it as a government freebie to buy votes.
Contraception is an entirely settled issue, so the Catholic church will just have to deal with the fact that this stuff is legal anyway.
No it wouldn't. The number of conservatives that want to ban contraception is tiny. Classifying the birth control pill as 'over the counter' is most certainly not going to split the conservative coalition.
Contraception is here to stay. This isn't a hotly debated issue like abortion. There is no chance at all that this nation is going to even consider restricting contraception. It is just not going to happen.
I understand what Jindahl is trying to do politically, but these drugs are not over-the-counter safe. (Actually they are not safe anyway over the long term, but that’s a different argument).
Women need a doctor’s supervision and advice in taking these drugs. There is not just one “pill”. There are hundreds of different concotions and several delivery methods. He seems to be sacrificing women’s safety to make a political point.
The only argument that he could make that would not do this is to say that ALL pharmaceuticals should be over-the-counter. That way both men and women would bear the same risks.
It shouldn't come to that.
The Pill prevents unwanted pregnancies & less of our tax money going to support them.
Those who oppose birth control of all kinds can mind their own business.
Yes and no. Regular Sunday Mass attendees - who would be considered real parishioners - did not give Obama anywhere 50% (sic) you talk about. The Bishops are correct on the issue.
Jindal needs a smackdown from his Bishop. I don't care if he is a "conservative". He is wrong and needs to be told firmly.
Yeah, this is a settled issue. These things aren't going away. I agree everyone should be on their own. THEY should pay for it, and THEY should be held responsible for any repercussions from it. The free people will have washed their hands of this liberal nightmare AS LONG AS there are no freebie social programs that drag our tax dollars into it. NO MORE FREEBIES.
As long as the user pays for it themselves - which means if they WANT it they'll have to find a way to pay for it (like getting a job, finding a liberal charity, or getting help from a family member).
I agree with Jindal. ONLY if all tax payer funding for these is totally removed. That way everyone has a choice, and no one is forced to live with it on their conscience.
But it’s a stupid issue. Why should conrtaceptives be a political issue, at all? It’s a medical and moral issue. It’s only political, now, because of Democrat stupidity, getting Government involved in healthcare. I think it’s a great issue the way it is, now, for conservatives to “demagogue”, since it highlights the idiocy of making medicine political.
What, does Jindal think he’ll get the “womyn’s” vote with this? Because he won’t.
Why do we want to out-stupid the Democrats? Over the counter means pretty much all medical (and parental) control is given up. B.C. is as safe as cough-drops? For 12-year-olds? I don’t believe it, and frankly, I think its effect on our society has been devastating. I suppose we’re leaving a pretty nice country for the Mohammadens or the hispanics, if they can keep it.
It will if taxpayers have to pay for it. More teens would be using the welfare card to buy it because it's so easy. Even those who aren't active now will become active once the pill is an over the counter freebie.
The tax payers will once again take a huge hit.
If all funding is cut (no welfare cards can be used to buy it), then I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem. Our hands would be clean.
If this part is left out and the faithful are forced to pay for the additional costs, THEN there will be a problem.
The recent election kind of shows that it is not currently a good issue for us. This sort of thing helped Obama win and win big with women. As long as it is a prescription covered by insurance, Obama can continue using the pill as a freebie to buy votes. The idea is if it goes 'over the counter' that it is no longer a prescription drug and insurance is out of the loop. Therefore no more freebies for Obama to give away.
Over the counter means pretty much all medical (and parental) control is given up. B.C. is as safe as cough-drops? For 12-year-olds? I dont believe it, and frankly, I think its effect on our society has been devastating.
Sounds like you are just personally opposed to contraception - or at least the pill. I get your point about low birth rates of traditional Americans changing the face of the country, unfortunately there is no going back where things like the pill are concerned. Might as well make it 'over the counter' since every woman that wants it gets it anyway. OTC means Obama can't use it to buy votes.
Be careful, Pat, on this here forum, comments like the above can get you ridiculed if not outright tossed out. Though I must agree you are spot on in your analysis.
Then again, some will say that this how the African version of the GOP (RINOs) works and not the "real" GOP. More's the pity.
I agree. Tax dollars shouldn't be involved. If women want sex, they can buy their own pills. No one is forcing them, by law, to have it. It's their own free will. Taxpayers should also be allowed their free will not to pay for it.
It's political because others are financially enslaved by it. Washington controls the finances and the slaves, so it gets to decide what the slaves will labor for and what the slaves will not labor for.
Lovaza is nothing but tripple strength fish oil, $100 for 30 tabs a month, high co-pay, TRICARE LIFE refused to cover it and rightly so. A bottle of triple strength fish oil with Omega -3's 90 tabs can be gotten for about $14 a bottle and most drug stores run BOGO sales and there are coupons in the Sunday paper or at Coupons.com. Or stores like Kroger's sends you a $2 off coupon.
Just as there are only a few factories that make bread, soups, canned veggies, milk, ice cream. Just a store label is slapped on some of them, and name brand on others..
I will concede that there might be some medical concerns and reservations about having the pill OTC, but I just don’t understand why anyone would be upset on moral grounds. Morally, I don’t see the difference between the pill and condoms. They are both used to help prevent pregnancies. The fact that condoms might, or might not, also reduce the spread of some STD’s is not the revelent issue. Anyone who takes issue with Jindal on moral grounds should also fight for the removal of condoms from the bathrooms of almost every bar, truck stop, and gas station in the country, where they are available to anyone with a couple of quarters in his pocket. I just don’t see the difference.
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