Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal supporting the sale of oral contraceptives over the counter without a prescription. The goal, the Republican argues, is to take birth control away from the Democrats as a political issue. He tempers this by saying that he’s an “unapologetic” pro-lifer and supports parents who do not want their children to have sex.
Jindal says that the only reasons that The Pill requires a visit to the doctor prior to buying the drug is because “Big Government” mandates it and big pharmaceutical companies benefit from this.
Despite the fact that this reasoning misses the prominent point about the need to see a doctor prior to getting birth control pills — there are multiple different versions of oral birth control for different age groups, medical conditions and dosages, oral birth control interacts with hormones in a delicate way that requires the professional opinion of a medical doctor, and it’s not uncommon for adverse effects to occur from chemicals interacting with crucial hormones at every point in life — Jindal takes the laissez faire approach and believes that people should be able to self-medicate.
Jindal wants consumers to be able to get their own hormone-adjusting pills:
It’s time to put purchasing power back in the hands of consumers—not employers, not pharmaceutical companies, and not bureaucrats in Washington. The great thing about America is that power doesn’t come from government, but from people. It’s time to reclaim that power.
One other point that Jindal fails to address is that many prescription drug plans and medical plans do not subsidise over the counter drugs, and that making birth control non-prescription could force many women to pay out of pocket for the expensive pharmaceutical.
Still, it’s all political for Jindal:
Democrats have wrongly accused Republicans of being against birth control and against allowing people to use it. That’s hogwash. But Republicans do want to protect those who have religious beliefs that are opposed to contraception.
He sees approving the measure as a boon for the Republican Party. Whether it works out for the women involved remains to be seem.
Jindal himself is said to be considering a presidential bid, but it’s worth remembering that bold Op-Eds do not always work out well for nominees.