Meet the Three (Male, GOP) Politicians Who Support Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pills

Ceridwen/WikimediaCeridwen/WikimediaOver-the-counter contraception is a popular proposal among American women: In a 2013 poll, two-thirds said they were in favor of making hormonal birth control pills available without a prescription. It's a plan supported by major U.S. medical organizations, too. Following this week's Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, many libertarian types have been taking the occasion to once again push for OTC birth control pills

It's not a terribly apt corollary to the Hobby Lobby situation—of the contraceptive forms Hobby Lobby's owners oppose, one (Plan B) is already sold over the counter, and another (the IUD) legitimately requires a doctor's visit. But, hey, I'm always game to discuss the merits of OTC birth control pills. Most politicians, not so surprisingly, are not.

But what is surprising is who has been willing to broach the topic. If this were an Upworthy-esque site, I would have titled this post, "The 3 Politicians Who Publicly Support OTC Birth Control—What They Have In Common Will Surprise You!" What they have in common is they're all male Republicans.

In the wake of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the only elected officials who have been calling for truly giving women more reproductive autonomy and greater access to contraception have been Y-chromosomed conservatives. The majority of responses I've seen from (male and female) Democratic politicians have simultaneously asserted that birth control decisions are not a woman's boss' business and continued to call for a system that makes birth control pills explicitly that. (The majority of official Republican responses have been no joy ride either, but at least these tend to be logically consistent in their idiocy.)

So without further ado: the only three politicians I could find on record supporting non-prescription birth control pills. 

1. Cory Gardner

Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) is currently running for a seat in the U.S. Senate. His opponent, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, has been hammering Gardner over his alleged stance on contraception (Udall claimed that Gardner wanted to ban it). Rather than sit back and let the war-on-women hype machine roll over him, Gardner has gone on the defensive. In June, Gardner penned an op-ed for The Denver Post calling for an end to the "zero-sum approach to women's medical care."

"It's time we changed that and adopt modern policies that make sense instead of using women's medical issues as an election-year power play," wrote Gardner. "One of the most rational ways for Washington to break this gridlock is to approve oral contraception for over-the-counter purchases by adults." 

2. Bobby Jindal

In 2012, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also took to the op-ed pages in support of over-the-counter birth control pills. "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," Jindal wrote in The Wall Street Journal, expressing agreement with a recent announcement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that oral contraceptives should be sold without a prescription. 

3. Gabriel Gomez

Gabriel Gomez is not even an elected official—this is how much I had to scrape to come up with at least three vocal political supporters of OTC birth control. Gomez was the Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat in the 2013 special election Massachusetts had to replace John Kerry. He lost to Democrat Edward Markey, who had made abortion access and contraception a major focus of his critiques against Gomez. 

Gomez stressed repeatedly that, while personally against abortion, he viewed Roe v Wade as "settled law." As far as birth control, Gomez said, "contraception should be available over the counter. They should take the politics out of it. And they should take the pharmaceutical companies out of it." 

Update: Ramesh Ponnuru has pointed me to some Virginia state politicians who support OTC birth control pills. In 2013 Barbara Comstock, a Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates, spearheaded a request sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to make birth control pills non-prescription. "This is a reform that makes sense and the Obama administration could quickly move on with bipartisan support," said the letter, signed by 13 members of the Virginia Assembly. 

I'll update further if more names come my way—I am hoping I am wrong about the lack of political support. But the paltriness of this list wasn't for a lack of seaching on my part. 

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  • John||

    I am not a doctor. I would be curious to hear from someone with technical knowledge of this. But how in the hell is Plan B over the counter but regular birth control pills are not? Yeah, I know there are plenty of idiotic political reasons for that. But is there any possible medical justification? It would seem to me that an abortion pill would be a hell of a lot more powerful of a drug and one more likely to require a doctor's supervision than a hormone pill. Am I missing something?

  • ||

    Plan B is a high dose of the same hormones as your average Pill. The basic idea is that taking it just once is pretty safe, but actually becoming a Pill user might be more dangerous in terms of side effects. (Note: Plan B is NOT RU486, an actual "abortion pill.")

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Excellent question by John and answer Nikki, wondered about that myself.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Agreed. I'd previously heard of the "three pill morning after" protocol, so that makes sense.

  • ||

    Yeah. Ladies on the pill and in the know knew they never actually needed a separate Plan B Rx.

  • John||

    I guess that would come down to a question of what is more dangerous a single high dose or a lot of small ones. Not being a GYN, I don't know.

    I am, however, still very skeptical that there is any medical justification for the difference or any justification at all beyond the FDA loves abortions but also likes to make sure Doctors get business.

  • ||

    I realize that some people consider Plan B an abortifacient and that the Hobby Lobby case revolved around this, but I have to say I think it's a big mistake to put this in any kind of "FDA loves abortion" category. You only have a couple days to take Plan B.

  • John||

    But most people consider Plan B to be associated with abortion rightly or wrongly. To me Plan B gets the political juice associated with abortion that regular birth controls don't and thus probably gets an easier time before the FDA.

  • ||

    Okay, I think that is an ahistorical viewpoint but I could see why you'd have it based on the last year or three of politics. Prior to the Sandra Flukeification of US politics, in fact a good while ago now, Plan B was also Rx-only—after FDA scientists had determined it was safe for OTC but FDA political appointees refused to change its classification. And at that point, it only had the slightest whiff of abortiony politics around it. I think people at that point were actually differentiating much more strongly between these drugs and abortion, because it wasn't a thing to worry about the same way it is post-ACA.

    I also don't think "most people" associate them that closely now. I don't think if you asked most women who had taken the morning-after pill, that they would say they thought they had an abortion. I think it's really the ACA that has abortionified Plan B so strongly, and mostly surrounding Hobby Lobby and arguments like it.

  • John||

    Perhaps then it was a scientifically based decision. I guess even the stopped clock of the FDA is right once a day.

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    I don't think "most people" do, I think most conservatives do.

  • Zeb||

    Long term use of the hormonal BC pills is associated with a lot of risks, particularly heart disease and certain cancers. With heart disease, the risk is pretty significant for people over 35, especially smokers. I expect that is the main reason/justification for keeping them prescription only (at least the main reason having to do with the actual safety of the drugs). I don't think that the occasional high dose has the same risks.

    I don't consider any of that a valid reason to keep it prescription only, just to make sure I am clear. It's safe enough that they give it to pretty much any young woman who asks for it, so it's should be safe enough that any adult can buy it. Just put warnings on the box. Of course, I think that an adult should be able to buy any drug (with the possible exception of some anti-biotics) they want regardless of safety.

  • Elsie T||

    Zeb, you think any adult should be able to buy any drug they want, just put warnings on the box? Except (possibly) for some antibiotics? My friend, I invite you to take a medical physiology course. Or pharmacology. Just one. I wish I could think of something to make the point easier and more clear to you, but unfortunately at this moment I cannot. Also: it is not only long term use of hormonal bc pills that is associated with risks. Initial use can cause strokes. AND it can cause loss of libido, which is definitely a risk, even if not all medical professionals take it seriously. And that one can be much more difficult for an individual to recognize, or to link to hormonal birth control. There are other potential issues as well. Cheers.

  • Elsie T||

    Pardon me, but it is not only not being a GYN that does not qualify you to not know this John, but also not being a woman. A woman knows that using hormones leads to very tangible effects on her body. It is easy to tell the difference in that effect between taking 3x the regular dose all at once vs. taking a normal single dose continuously. However, I am not pointing this out in order to discount the role of the GYN (or nurse practitioner), because in fact I feel strongly that his/her role is essential. There are a number of different complications that can arise as a result of hormone use and I personally would not feel comfortable using the pill before consultation with a trusted medical professional. I am also not a GYN, but I do have a doctorate in medical biology. And I certainly believe in women's rights to have control over their reproductive choices and sexuality, I just really don't feel that this is prudent. Of note: They do not even offer non-prescription bc in Denmark, The Netherlands, or Sweden (for example), which are 3 of the most progressive countries when it comes to bc & women's rights. So, this is not because they are fearful about killing unborn children or frightened of women expressing their sexuality, etc. It is because it is not safe.

    In any case, we DO need more WOMEN involved in this conversation, since that is who the issue is mostly about. I am honestly a bit weary of all of the elected and appointed men spouting off about it. Cheers.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Of course they support it. All men do. The pill means we don't have to wear rubbers. Use your head.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I find condoms give me a solid extra 30 seconds.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The time spent fumbling around with the packaging doesn't get added to your score.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Ok, ok, I just like the fun colors.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    You mean you buy glow in the dark ones so you can pretend your penis is a lightsaber.

  • WTF||

    Complete with sound effects.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Whoah I wish, they are like $2 a piece.

  • Lord Humungus||

    swordfight!

  • Idle Hands||

    isn't that foreplay?

  • Lord Humungus||

    Time to unwrap and apply condom + whiskey dick = no fun

  • Adam.||

    also, an extra solid 30 seconds. And! An extra 30 seconds solid. heyoo

  • Andrew S.||

    If you're smart and you're invested in not getting her pregnant, using condoms is generally advisable even if she's on the pill.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If I'm smart she doesn't know my real name.

  • Brandon||

    Do they actually believe your parents named you Fist?

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Do you have the same obsession with being first in the sack, like you do with AM links?

  • Idle Hands||

    she can't get pregnant if she's on top, the pill is already the secondary.

  • 110 Lean||

    What you did there...

  • ||

    Look, Lizzy (can I call you Lizzy?), if we don't force women to go get permission slips for their pills, the poorest will probably never see a doctor and all get blood clots. Which are like, totally not a danger associated with pregnancy or anything. That remains OTC.

  • John||

    Look Nikki, if we didn't force poor women to go to the doctor, they would harm themselves. Poor women are not like top shelf white girls like you. Oh sure, we could trust you to take the pill and go to the doctor on their own. But poor women are a different thing entirely and wouldn't make it without Uncle Sam looking after them. Ideally we would let respectable white girls like you get the stuff over the counter and just supervise the loves of poor women. But the God damned Tea Baggers on the Supreme Court won't let us. So you are just going to have to suck it up on this one.

  • ||

    The funny thing is I'd probably be the least likely to ever go to a doctor again if this were OTC.

  • John||

    My mother in law just got out of the hospital after having a brutal infection that had been lurking in her system for probably ten years or more. For literally years her blood count had been abnormally high and her doctor didn't notice. The infection finally became accute and put her in the hospital for a week. My mother went to doctor religiously and was a cancer survivor (meaning she was going to get again at some point) and yet they never noticed it had come back until her whole body was riddled with the stuff.

    Preventative medicine is a bit overrated in my view. Yeah, I suppose you can get lucky and have them catch something. But they are more likely to miss it or worse misdiagnose it.

  • Zeb||

    Preventative medicine would work a lot better if they did things other than telling you to eat well and exercise and doing blood tests for cholesterol and diabetes. But unfortunately primary care doctors are mostly health insurance administrators now.

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    I love pointing out to people that the risk of blood clots during pregnancy is at least double the risk associated with being on the pill.

  • John||

    And of course if you are worried about the effects of the pill, you can always (gasp) not take it or go to a doctor while you are on it. I love how these people think women are apparently too stupid to act in their own interests.

  • ||

    Me too! One of my fave talking points.

  • Elsie T||

    Since it is one of your favorite talking points, you need to get your logic straight. See my comment to Elizabeth Nolan Brown.

  • ||

    Well blood clots are what Jesus gives you for being a whore.

  • Tim||

    Finally some wisdom.

  • Elsie T||

    Yes, but that has no bearing. One has nothing to do with the other. Your reasoning is flawed. The risk of getting a sunburn during the day is at least double the risk at night. But the two are completely separate, unrelated events. In other words, just because the risk of blot clots during pregnancy is higher than the risk while on the pill (maybe it is also higher while you are sky diving, or eating red M&M's, or etc.) does not mean that taking the pill still does not increase your risk of blood clots (it does) and that this is not a statistically significant fact to take into account when considering use of hormonal birth control pills (it is).

  • Warren's Strapon||

    While we're on the subject, I'm going to object to the assertion that an IUD "legitimately requires" a doctor visit. If we're going to allow people to use any drug as they see fit, then I don't see why IUD's are singled out for doctoral permission. Sure, if I sold one OTC, I'd have a "See a medical professional for insertion, you stupid jackass" warning label on it. But legally required? Fuck that.

  • ||

    Right on.

  • Warren's Strapon||

    I mean, I can buy the materials for a DIY vasectomy off of Amazon and have them delivered tomorrow. I don't think it's a bright idea, though.

  • Pulseguy||

    A weedeater works in a pinch.

  • perlhaqr||

    Meh. Just package it with a plastic speculum and a sterile pair of long nose foreceps.

  • perlhaqr||

    "New DIY article in MakeZine this month!"

  • MJGreen||

    It's a perfect activity for a third or fourth date, if you're feeling ready to take the relationship to the next step.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Rather than sit back and let the war-on-women hype machine roll over him, Gardner has gone on the defensive."

    I hope you meant "offensive."

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    Well, the other guy started it. But Gardner fought back.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Doesn't "gone on the defensive" suggest fighting on the opponent's turf, and his terms, by focusing only on fighting his accusations? You're just the goalie trying to prevent the other side from scoring points, and we've seen how well that works for the U.S. soccer team, even with a good goalie.

    Whereas going on offense means making accusations of your own and moving onto the opponent's side of the field and making goals of your own - which is what this guy seems to be doing by changing to subject to OTC contraception.

  • Brandon||

    Still seems like "offensive" would fit better. The Maginot Line was defensive.

  • Antilles||

    I've been arguing all morning with some lady on AlterNet about this. She said birth control pills are too dangerous to sell over-the-counter and women need to be protected by Big Daddy government (my words, not hers). She couldn't comprehend the illogic of her belief that Hobby Lobby was evil for not giving away something for free, but the FDA was good for (intentionally or not) setting up barriers and making BC more expensive. It truly is the Bizarro World over there...

  • John||

    And the same people who think it is right and just to subject women to a mandatory pelvic exam to get birth control pills, think requiring an ultra sound before getting an abortion is rape.

    Bizzarro is too weak of a word.

  • Antilles||

    When it comes to themselves and their pet causes they're surprisingly Libertarian. But for everyone else and the things we believe in, not so much. Is there a psychological term for that type of mindset..?

  • perlhaqr||

    Asshole?

  • Antilles||

    Hmmm...that's too kind. Maybe something more along the lines of 'juvenile malignant narcissist sociopath?'

  • Sevo||

    Asshole has a bit more piquancy.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Why not a Grand Bargain where Dems agree that people should buy their own birth control, in exchange for Reps allowing OTC sales so that it's affordable?

    That way, no more squabbling between the govt and the Little Sisters of the Poor about how they used the OMG WRONG FORM in applying for an exemption from the contraceptive mandate, and to punish them they should pay crippling fines!

  • BakedPenguin||

    I was thinking about this the other day. I'm actually surprised that more conservative pols haven't come out for OTC birth control. If you really believe that abortion is taking the life of a child, it seems like it would be a great boon to limit them as much as possible.

  • ||

    Yeah, it's things like that that make some people feel like there actually is some fear of female sexuality involved in these things.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I think this argument is a nonstarter, because conservatives will simply ask for the evidence that wider availability of contraceptives has led to fewer abortions. Both have increased in the last few decades.

    We're positing people who would have unprotected sex - even though they don't want to get pregnant - for lack of inexpensive contraceptives, but who once contraceptives go OTC will suddenly become responsible and use the stuff as intended. This presumes a lot of people who by hypothesis are so dumb and horny they would risk pregnancy and use abortion as a backup birth control.

  • ||

    We're positing people who would have unprotected sex - even though they don't want to get pregnant - for lack of inexpensive contraceptives, but who once contraceptives go OTC will suddenly become responsible and use the stuff as intended.

    Not necessarily the case. There could be people out there who would switch from less reliable barrier methods to more reliable hormonal methods, or double up.

    And there are a lot of people using abortion as a backup birth control who aren't having unprotected sex, either.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    OK, *less protected* sex, then.

  • John||

    Not necessarily the case. There could be people out there who would switch from less reliable barrier methods to more reliable hormonal methods, or double up.

    Sure there could. But how many people are really getting pregnant because of the failure of barrier methods? I would be very few. Most people who get pregnant without meaning to are making no effort at birth control because they figure they will not have intercourse and then let their passion and or inebriation get the better of them and have sex anyway.

    Barrier methods are not ineffective. They work 80+% of the time. And the chances of getting pregnant from a single act of sex are at best one in three and that is if you have sex on exactly the right day. If you have to be really unlucky or having a whole lot of sex to get pregnant while using a barrier method.

  • ||

    Barrier methods are not ineffective. They work 80+% of the time.

    Um, with respect to contraception, that is ineffective enough to send me running screaming for the hills.

  • John||

    Maybe so. But math is a harsh mistress. If you can only get pregnant three days a month and you only have a one in three chance of getting pregnant from a single act of sex, that means without any contraception you have a one in thirty chance of getting pregnant. Reduce that by 80% and that means you have a one in one hundred fifty chance of getting pregnant from a single act of sex.

    That is pretty low. The point is that most people who accidentally get knocked up got that way because they didn't use anything.

  • ||

    Reduce that by 80% and that means you have a one in one hundred fifty chance of getting pregnant from a single act of sex.

    That is pretty low.

    Do you actually think that's low for something as insanely big a deal as maternity?

  • John||

    "Low" is a relative term. It also depends on how much sex you are having.

    You completely miss the point Nikki. The point is not to tell you you should risk having sex off of the pill. I understand your fear of maternity. Don't worry, someone will pay for your abortion if it ever happens.

    The point is that if your chances of getting pregnant from one act of sex is one in a 150 at best, you would have to be having a hell of a lot of sex before you were very likely at all to get pregnant. Yet, we have millions of women who are getting pregnant when they don't want to. Put those two facts together and it is pretty clear that most of those women are not using any form of birth control and are unlikely to do so no matter how available you make it.

  • ||

    I'm not missing the point. I'm arguing that methods of birth control that are inherently more effective than barrier methods, and easier to use (because you don't have to deal with them at the "point of sale," as it were), might reduce the amount of unintended pregnancy.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    We have a population of 309 million, half of which are women, so that would be one million unplanned pregnancies by your numbers

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    And that's if each had just one sexual encounter

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I always wonder, what's the upshot of this argument? There are a significant number of people that make unwise decisions when it comes to sex. This would seem to me to be an argument for rather than against making it easier for people to get birth control or other reproductive choice options.

  • John||

    It is not an argument for or against that. It just means making birth control more available is not going to reduce unplanned pregnancies since a certain percentage of people are unlikely to use birth control even if it is available.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well by your own numbers there is a 20% failure rate for BC and pregnancy results in one out of three sexual encounters. The math for the entire nation would give you a significant number of unplanned pregnancies just from that, right?

  • John||

    Sure it would. But not the millions that we have. Moreover, the numbers have gone through the roof even though birth control is more available today than it ever has been.

    Two things are going on. First, people just don't use birth control because it is a pain in the ass and sex tends to happen without planning. Second, birth control gives people a false sense of security. Even the pill isn't 100%, especially if the woman forgets to take it every day. Back before the pill and before really available birth control, people were more likely to avoid sex because the risk of having it was pretty high. Make it really available and people stop avoiding sex, but start getting pregnant because they forget to use it or they don't use it or it just fails. It is a totally predictable but counter intuitive result.

  • John||

    Exactly GKC. The bottom line is that there is no excuse for having an unplanned pregnancy now. Yet, we still have them by the millions. Nothing short of something horrible like the return of deadly STDs is going to change that.

  • Warren's Strapon||

    Both have increased in the last few decades.

    You mean in the past few decades that abortion has been nationally legal? Wonder why that is.

  • John||

    You miss the point. If available contraception really reduced the number of pregancies, the number of abortions shouldn't have gone up. Moreover, the number of unwed births went up too. Aborted pregnancies and bastard child pregnancies is a higher percentage of total pregnancies today than before contraceptives were generally available.

    That is pretty solid evidence that whatever the benefits of making them available, reducing unwanted pregnancies is not one of them.

  • Zeb||

    Aborted pregnancies and bastard child pregnancies is a higher percentage of total pregnancies today than before contraceptives were generally available.

    It's kind of hard to say that for sure regarding abortion as abortion was largely illegal before birth control was widely available. And plenty of people still had abortions.

  • John||

    True. But the numbers were much lower than today. That was the whole point of making it legal wasn't it? To make it available and less dangerous?

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, I think you are most likely right. Though I think that the immediate reason for more unmarried pregnancies is the relative lack of social stigma associated with unwed motherhood. Of course that is all tied up with availability of birth control and welfare and abortion being legal, so it's all a mess.
    If we didn't all have to pay for it all, maybe it could just be a personal problem for the individuals involved and not a societal problem. I really don't want to have any reason to worry about other people's sexual choices.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I think this argument is a nonstarter, because conservatives will simply ask for the evidence that wider availability of contraceptives has led to fewer abortions. Both have increased in the last few decades.

    I'd think an even more compelling argument for socon pols would be that this could lead to a "further erosion of traditional values" or however it would be phrased.

    Nevertheless, this would be a zero-cost (perhaps even money saving, considering Obamacare) policy change. And frankly, I think you're underestimating the hassle of needing a doctor's appointment, especially to low-income women. Separating out societal change from policy change isn't easy, but my argument would be "if abortion is such a horrific event, shouldn't anyway to limit it be considered?"

  • ||

    The phrase they use is that banging on BC means you are "not open to life" and thus more likely to terminate, because you've entered into a baby-making process with the intention of stopping the baby-making.

  • Billy Bones||

    But to those ignorant bastards, a life not born is a life aborted. Sex is not for enjoyment, it is for procreation and nothing else (which is also why they are vehemently opposed to homosexuals). I am surprised that at least of them has not supported the barbarian practice of female circumcision.

  • Xeones||

    But then politicians wouldn't have as many opportunities for social engineering, or at least the appearance of Doing Something. WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE POLITICIANS?!?!?

  • MegaloMonocle||

    If its OTC, its not covered by insurance, so the Dems don't even need to get on board that people should buy their own.

  • ||

    A grand bargain requires giving the Dems something they've been fighting for/wanting. As ENB points out they haven't ever pushed for OTC BC, and thus not really much in it for them. They lose their War on Wimminz! rallying cry, and get nothing back. They would have no victory to show their side.

  • BakedPenguin||

    If the stupid party kept the pressure on, it would eventually dawn on women's groups that OTC BC would be a big win for them. It eventually would be problematic if they didn't support it, and would be a brutal wound in the "War on Women" rhetoric.

  • Andrew S.||

    It's obvious that these men just want to subjugate women through over-the-counter birth control availability by forcing them to pay for the pills.

  • WTF||

    Forcing them to pay for the pills is DENYING THEM ACCESS!!!11!!

  • ||

    I am endlessly amazed at the hay that the dems have been able to make out of the phony baloney war on women. A couple of republicans say some really dumb shit every now and then and the dems, who are no less bigoted, if not more, are able to whip that into a national controversy about the philosophy of more than half of the political spectrum.

    Once again we see that the left never, ever tells the truth. Everything they say is designed to deceive. Straw men, reductio ad absurdum, false equivalence, ad hominem, and bald faced lies. That is all they have.

    Yesterday I saw a clip from FOX's 'Five' where Bob Beckel spewed an anti-gun rant that was an amalgam of every single dem talking point on the subject, and 100% false.

    Even worse is the party of stupid who can't seem to defeat such a pathetic opponent.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I tried to outline my support for the Hobby Lobby decision to a progressive, talking about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act - which she was unfamiliar with - and how it was passed overwhelmingly and signed by President Clinton in order to increase protection for religious minorities, like the Indians who used peyote for religious reasons.

    "But what does peyote have to do with contraception?"

  • WTF||

    "But what does peyote have to do with contraception?"

    And why do you hate womyn?

  • edcoast||

    I can hear your head hitting the desk from here.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    I got a woman frothing at the mouth and spewing invective by suggesting that it was misogynistic for her to suggest that women are suffering because they're not being subsidized. I told her that relying on an extremely paternalistic government to force their employers to act in a paternalistic manner infantilizes women worse than any imagined patriarchy could possibly do.

    She never did answer my question of where she got the authority to demand extra compensation post hoc.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    This is the sort of mansplaining sexism that caused that guy in California to go around killing women.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I got a woman frothing at the mouth and spewing invective

    Find a swallower next time.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Notorious, your mansplaining obviously went right over her pretty little head.

  • Stickler Meeseeks||

    "But what does peyote have to do with contraception?"

    Ugh! Ever notice that activist progs have the most trouble thinking in principle?

  • ||

    "But what does peyote have to do with contraception?"

    That is it in a nutshell. There are common subtle concepts and fine distinctions that I have noticed proggies unable to grok. Some of them not so subtle or fine. In other words, they are stupid. I should make a list.

  • WTF||

    Even worse is the party of stupid who can't seem to defeat such a pathetic opponent.

    True, but the dems do have a big advantage with the vast majority of media outlets working on their side.

  • John||

    They have the media and they have the popular culture. This gives them the ability to attack in mass like a bunch of angry chimpanzees. If you get enough people screaming loud enough that someone is crazy and out of the mainstream, the public will figure there must be something to it and dismiss the arguments the person is making, no matter how rational and reasonable they are.

  • ||

    I think I read somewhere that TV shows and ads are written on a 5th grade level...for the masses.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "I am endlessly amazed at the hay that the dems have been able to make out of the phony baloney war on women."

    They are experts at putting bumper sticker blurb out on social media where a bunch of zero information yuts and dnc hacks share or retweet it with millions and the media dnc hacks and zero information entertaininers turn misleading bullshit into indesputable "facts". All the need is a couple republicans saying stupid shit and they can create a new cause.

  • AlmightyJB||

    The right attempts this as well but they dont have the same level of support in social media and covet in the msm and pop culture. In fact, whatever tgey attempt to do gets shouted down in those arenas.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Cover

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    May as well suck it up - as Charles Krauthammer resignedly said, the Dems will make political hay out of this issue - we can talk ourselves blue in the face and single women will still flock to the polls to oppose the right-wing Teathuglikkans who want to ban birth control.

  • John||

    It is all they have left. The best thing to do is ridicule them and call their bluff by supporting things like this. There is absolutely no point in directly engaging them in rational argument.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    The best thing is to say, "well, I understand why you'd rather harp on this than discuss your economic and foreign-policy record!"

    Or, "wait, I thought you said it was *wrong* to distract the public from their economic conditions by whipping up cultural issues!"

  • John||

    "I thought it was the Right that used the culture war to distract people from economic issues. Didn't you read The Trouble With Kansas"?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    2012 was culture war + Romney the Cruel Cancer-Causing Capitalist + Paul Ryan Pushing Grandma off the Cliff. Sandra Fluke wasn't a fluke, but was central to the strategy.

  • John||

    It was totally about that. It was a coordinated strategy. It was war on women and white people want to murder black people. The publicity surrounding the Trayvon Martin case was nothing but an Obama campaign op.

  • Stickler Meeseeks||

    You on the left said "stay out of our bedroom!" We're trying! You are the ones that keep bringing us there!

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "You there! Get to my bedroom quickly and bring the birth control! OK, now you're dismissed, get out of my bedroom, you perv!"

  • Stickler Meeseeks||

    I know, right? Where's MY right to privacy?

  • ||

    "There is absolutely no point in directly engaging them in rational argument."

    Bingo.

    Now I am going to steal and combine two comments from other commenters:

    You can't argue facts and logic with someone whose beliefs are not based on facts or logic. It is like sword fighting a fart.

  • Tim||

    Why can't women buy their birth control pills from criminals in alleys,like when they want weed or something.

  • Brandon||

    Weed? In alleys? Oh, you're one of those backwards hicks from the dark 48.

  • Raven Nation||

    48 comments and no snark on Barbara Comstock supporting OTC for contraception? I don't have the snark skills necessary so content myself with making the observation.

  • ||

    Hehe.

  • Dweebston||

    3D-printing IUDs will solve this problem.

    /ihavenoideahowthosework

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Was there a round of troll banning?

    This is an abortion thread people! Most of the above conversation seems sane and rational. What the hell is going on?

  • OldMexican||

    I am not going to be satisfied with just prescription birth-control pills being available over the counter. Only when all drugs are available over the counter can people say "we have achieved something at last! Merely going back to the freer days of the late 1800s but better that than paying a specialist $300 just to see him (or her) fill a prescription for me."

    Obviously, Mr. "Enlightened" libertarian Tony will answer with (if he was honest about his principles) that for us, freedom means being free to overdose on laudanum or Flintstones' Vitamins, but who listens to him anyway, except his mom and only when she has to vacuum the basement carpet?

  • John||

    The only drugs you could talk me into restricting are antibiotics. In the case of antibiotics, your choice to misuse them contributes to resistance and effects everyone. So those, I think are a bit different than other drugs.

    Our society of course makes few efforts to control antibiotics and overuses the hell out of them while putting the full force of the police state behind controlling pain killers. I guess dying from a resistant bacteria is better than someone getting high or something.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: John,

    your choice to misuse them contributes to resistance and effects everyone.


    Actually, John, the reason why antibiotics have become such a double-edged sword is because of three things: doctors who over-prescribed them; people that don't take them for the recommended or prescribed amount of time, instead stopping the moment they feel better; and because of the overuse of antibiotics by agro-business.

    The idea that drug-resistant bacteria exist because we're just too dumb to use antibiotics is a myth perpetuated by the very people who are guilty of this and that would be the doctors themselves. People should be able to buy anti-biotics over the counter just like any other thing we buy, like cereal, cars or guns.

  • John||

    Antibiotics are becoming useless primarily due to overuse. Why are they overused? Right now because doctors over prescribe them. That is true as far as it goes. But the reason why doctors over prescribe them is because their patients ask for them. Presumably sometimes doctors say no. Yet people still over use them. Therefore, making them over the counter will just increase the over use as those who can't get them now will be able to get them.

    It is not a myth at all. There are legitimate reason to strictly control antibiotics. The fact that t hey are still overused means we don't take the issue seriously enough not that we should just give up. What possible reason do you have to think people would use fewer antibiotics if t hey were over the counter? Why buy cold medicine when you don't feel good, when you can buy antibiotics? Most people have no clue that antibiotics don't work on viruses and would be taking them every time they had a runny nose.

  • Zeb||

    A lot of people really are that stupid when it comes to germs. It doesn't even have to be a huge number of people to cause problems. Certain people will take antibiotics for every sniffle if they are OTC.
    I'm ambivalent about legal restrictions on principle, but there is legitimate danger. Yes, they are poorly managed now, but I suspect it woudl be even worse with OTC access for everyone.

  • Xeones||

    Incorrect. Tony's mom knows better than to listen to him.

  • Brandon||

    Why does anything require a prescription?

  • OldMexican||

    Because TOP MEN. That's why.

  • Raven Nation||

    Well, I figured it would be something to do with cartel economics and self-interest but this was pretty blatant:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D....._Amendment

  • GILMORE||

    This is clearly some kind of behind-the-lines sabotage attempt by the Republinazis in their endless War on Women.

  • GILMORE||

    out of curiosity =

    are condoms like, free under the ACA?

    or is this 'my contraceptive rights!' thing entirely about All women getting the pill per gratis?

  • John||

    Of course not. Women's sexuality is not just free, it is supposed to be subsidized. Men's sexuality, since men are all rapists, has to be held under strict control. So no free condoms or legal whores for you buddy. Take your rape culture somewhere else.

  • Mr. Soul||

    how about legal condoms and free whores?

  • John||

    How dare you deny me access to birth control.

  • Tim||

    Just think of Nancy Pelosi's face.

  • perlhaqr||

    She's gorge-ous.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "Just think of Nancy Pelosi's face."

    Damn you Tim! Damn you ro hell! :)

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    Barbara Comstock! I wonder if she has any relation to the Comstock who founded the "Society for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice" back in the day. In which case there has been quite the generation gap.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Why is this surprising at all?

    The lefty-loony motto is:
    MY BODY
    MY CHOICE
    YOUR MONEY

    OTC contraception takes "YOUR MONEY" out of the equation. They'll throw your body and your choice under the bus eventually, but your money is the one thing they will never let go of.

  • Brandybuck||

    So why aren't Democrat and women politicians in favor of OTC birth control? Because they see women as wards of the state. They see women as victims who need the the state (surrogate father) to look out for them. Women cannot buy their own contraceptives, and so someone else must pay for them. Women cannot make decisions about contraceptives, and so physicians and pharmacists must make them instead.

  • Nicholas Sarwark||

    Three whole Republicans, huh?

    If only there was a whole political party committed to getting the government out women's medical decisions, including making birth control over the counter.

    If only that party and its incoming Chair had put out a press release addressing that very issue.

    If only.

    Keep working on the GOP, maybe by next year you can get to six Republicans who support medical freedom.

  • Tony||

    What this country needs is more male politicians weighing in on women-specific health concerns.

  • frankania||

    Just bring an empty vitamins bottle, come to Mexico and buy any medicines you want, and then go back home. It is easy and CHEAP. I once bought a year's medicine for my daughter which was $200 in USA, for $8 in Mexico.
    It is called free-enterprise and anti-cronyism.

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