An growing roster of Republican candidates across the country are embracing Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposal to make birth control pills available for adult women over-the-counter, without a prescription. This trend is tossing a wrench into the Left’s paint-by-numbers attack strategy of painting the GOP as obsessed with “restricting access” to birth control — which nobody was advocating anyway.* The idea is to bombard young women with multimillion-dollar ad campaigns in order to scare them with this fiction, thus shoring up Democrats’ wide advantage within the key demographic. But now that Republicans are backing plans that do precisely the opposite of limiting women’s access to contraception, Democrats and their allies are…actively opposing that idea, too. Surreal:
That’s a Planned Parenthood ad currently running in Colorado. The group is furiously denouncing Rep. Cory Gardner’s proposal to expand women’s access to birth control, casting his idea as a blow to women’s pocketbooks, to the tune of “$600 per year.” (Er, generic brand birth control pills are available for $9.00 per month … without insurance, and drugs tend to get cheaper when made available OTC). Here we have the self-professed champions of birth control access working to defeat a plan to extend birth control access. Why? Follow the money. First off, abortion is big business for Planned Parenthood, so they’re willing to do whatever it takes to elect politicians who share their extreme, unlimited abortion-on-demand agenda. And as Ben Domenech notes at The Federalist, the organization’s financial self-interest doesn’t end there:
It’s also certainly a total coincidence that birth control is a major lead generator for Planned Parenthood, to the degree that they can’t afford to lose their existing purpose as a source of prescribed contraception without it hurting their status as an institution. Pages 16 and 17 of this report break out what percentage of Planned Parenthood’s “services” are related to contraception – it’s over a third of their activity, and the breakdown on page 16 shows that it’s overwhelmingly oral contraception (and less than 5 percent of their business is IUDs)…Now you can understand why they wouldn’t want potential customers to be free to go to CVS or Walgreens or Rite Aid instead of heading to Planned Parenthood – providing those and other services is worth a lot of taxpayer money, $540 million in FY 2012 alone. And if you don’t provide those services, you can’t bill the taxpayers for them. Planned Parenthood’s hypocrisy here is borne out of their interest in survival as an institution, an impetus for rent-seeking over access. The existing and arbitrary government barrier to over-the-counter oral contraception is a major path to how they get customers in the door, and they know it. That’s why they want to keep the government’s ban on over-the-counter birth control intact.
Exactly. They don’t want the competition, so they’re agitating to maintain the government-imposed ban on OTC contraception. This from the crew that endlessly lectures others about “trusting women.” Oh, and according to a 2013 Rupe/Reason poll, fully 66 percent of Americans support making ‘the pill’ accessible to women over-the-counter. So to recap: The Left is assailing conservatives for championing a wildly popular plan to expand birth control access. Welcome to wonderland. Hey Republicans, maybe it’s time to turn your opponents’ moronic demagoguery against them. Every single Planned Parenthood-supported Democrat should be asked whether or not they’ll defend the ongoing paternalistic prohibition. If they don’t unequivocally embrace reforms that offer women more choices and convenience (there’s no time for “mansplaining” the details, of course), they should be flogged in ads and debates for supporting actual access limitations to birth control. Perhaps Gardner will challenge Mark Udall on this very point in their upcoming televised debate. Oh wait:
“For the first time in CBS 4 history, an incumbent US Senator has declined to debate his opponent live on our air. In fact, Sen. Mark Udall is not doing a debate on any of the four major network television stations…”
*Republicans oppose “restricting access” to birth control, but they agree with a majority of Americans that the federal government shouldn’t be doing things like fighting the Little Sister of the Poor in court in an effort to force them to pay for something that violates their religion. There’s another question for Democrats who insist on bringing up contraception in debates: “Senator, do you support the Obama administration’s legal battle with Catholic nuns over birth control?”