via Lauren McGaughy, New Orleans Times Picayune
Gov. Bobby Jindal said oral contraceptives should be available over-the-counter in a Thursday evening op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. The self-described “unapologetic pro-life Republican” governor of Louisiana said this would lower health-care costs, prevent government intrusion into citizens’ lives and fight the influence of big pharmaceutical companies.
“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 said in the op-ed.
Jindal cited a December committee opinion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists which came out in favor of over-the-counter access to the pill “to improve contraceptive access and use and possibly decrease unintended pregnancy rates.”
Although the op-ed might seem like a shift to the left for the Catholic governor, Jindal also reiterated his conservative reasoning behind his support for the issue.
First, he made clear if oral contraception was more readily available, employers currently mandated to provide it under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act would not need to do so.
This argument most clearly is geared toward religiously-affiliated employers who have come out against providing birth control against Church doctrine.
Second, he touted the impact it could have on individual buyers, saying “it’s time to put purchasing power back in the hands of consumers.”
Finally, he said if oral contraception is available over-the-counter, this would put an end to the politicization of the issue.
“Contraception is a personal matter — the government shouldn’t be in the business of banning it or requiring a woman’s employer to keep tabs on her use of it.”
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