No adult woman likes to be treated like a child. That's why I've always thought it strange that women have to schedule appointments with doctors or nurse practitioners to kindly request would you please give me a prescription for birth control please. Usually the doctor or nurse must ask women a series of very personal questions about sex and then hand-hold women through a tirade about how condoms are the only effective means to prevent STDs, how smoking is bad, and how birth control increases your risk of blood clots if you smoke.
I'm not sure how many times women have to hear this before we understand. So wait… smoking is bad for my health? It's not… good for my health?
Of course, there are other reasons some doctors support prescription-only birth control. It may keep women coming in for their preventative care check-ups, pap smears, pelvic exams, etc. But really, do doctors have to withhold medicine in order to lure women into their offices? Women should learn that it's their personal responsibility to get a check up as often as necessary.
One form of birth control is available OTC: that's condoms. But recently the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have come out in favor of making other forms of birth control – the hormonal ones that come in pills, rings, or shots – available OTC as well. Can women be trusted with these very safe drugs??
Hallelujah, there's one lawmaker who understands. Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, writes in the Wall Street Journal:
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists announced its support last month for selling oral contraceptives over the counter without a prescription in the United States. I agree with this opinion, which if embraced by the federal government would take contraception out of the political arena.
Let's ask the question: Why do women have to go see a doctor before they buy birth control? There are two answers. First, because big government says they should, even though requiring a doctor visit to get a drug that research shows is safe helps drive up health-care costs. Second, because big pharmaceutical companies benefit from it. They know that prices would be driven down if the companies had to compete in the marketplace once their contraceptives were sold over the counter.
Gov. Jindal wants to get the government's hands off of birth control.
Wait a second… JINDAL IS A CONSERVATIVE! How can this be?
Ha. There are many free-market supporters (like me) who believe that individuals should be free to use birth control if that is their choice. Even many Catholics, who object to birth control morally, believe in the rights of other people to use it. The trouble with birth-control politics is that Democrats – through the ridiculous HHS contraception mandate – are attempting to force people to pay for the birth control decisions of others (including sterizilation, the morning-after and week-after pills). Those very personal decisions should be made (and paid for) by individuals who want to assume responsibility for their actions. Jindal makes a point that I've always found highly ironic:
So at present we have an odd situation. Thanks to President Obama and the pro-choice lobby, women can buy the morning-after pill over the counter without a prescription, but women cannot buy oral contraceptives over the counter unless they have a prescription.
Liberals and progressives so perverted the use of the word "access" in the debate over the HHS mandate, I didn't know what they were talking about any more. "Access" is not the same thing as "affordability." It may be true that some women faced difficulty affording their birth control, just like we might struggle to afford other consumer goods. Any woman in the United States who wants to access birth control (besides condoms or ironically "Plan B") needs a prescription. And any woman can get one, if she meets with her doctor of a NP. So, if you really want to expand "access" to birth control, you will support, as Republican Governor Jindal suggests, that birth control be sold over the counter.
I feel as though all my liberal girlfriends have just been punked. Agree… with a Republican… in a Wall Street Journal article…? Yes. As we said all year, until we were blue in the face, being conservative does not mean one is opposed to birth control. Conservatives are the ones who truly want the government out of birth control. It's personal. Not political.