Liberating The Pill After 50 Years


one pill makes you freer

Women aren't stupid*, but the Food and Drug Administration treats them like they are. The contraceptive pill has been on the market for 50 years, but women still have to go begging every year to their doctors and every month to the pharmacist behind the high counter.

An op-ed in yesterday's The New York Times makes the case for letting the pill go free, in celebration of a big anniversary:

The pill meets F.D.A. criteria for over-the-counter medications. Women don't need a doctor to tell them whether they need the pill — they know when they are sexually active and want to avoid pregnancy. Pill instructions are easy to follow: Take one each day. There's no chance of becoming addicted. Taking too many will make you nauseated, but won't endanger your life, in contrast to some over-the-counter drugs, like analgesics. (There are even side benefits to taking the pill, like reduced risks of ovarian and uterine cancer.)…

Women don't need a doctor to tell them if they need cold medicine or condoms, and they shouldn't need a doctor's permission to take the pill. Over-the-counter sales would expand access to safe, effective contraception, and help women take control over their sexual and reproductive lives.


I wrote about the first Pill, and the men who loved it, here.

* Be strong commenters. Resist the bait.

NEXT: Porker of The Month (June 2010) – Sen. Richard Shelby, Who Made Pigs Fly in Outer Space!

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  1. * Be strong commenters. Resist the bait.

    So you’re not only baiting us, but your baiting the bait as well. Stupid broad…

    1. Not that it’s any stupider than my inability to use the word “you’re” correctly twice in the same sentence.

      1. 50% accuracy ain’t that bad.

        1. For a chick.

    2. What do you call a woman with two brain cells?


      1. Pregnant with her daughter.

      2. Your mother

  2. I whole prescription thing is a racket – I gotta go to the MD twice a year to get permission to use an asthma inhaler I’ve been using about 12 years without incidence…

    1. same here for a med i take. So i (or my insurance company) needs to shell out 150 bucks just to allow me to spend even more money on buying a drug i know how to use.

      1. I got from my insurance company the permission to take a medication that I will presumably take for the rest of my life but only until 2042. I shat you not, there was specific date to when I would not be covered, its 32 years from now.

    2. But without gatekeepers…floodgates wide open…umm…I don’t know. Ok, yeah, it’s a racket.

      1. Yeah, the argument in favor of gatekeepers fails on its own merits because patients determined to get a prescription will just shop around for a doctor who will prescribe it anyway.

        1. Or go across the border and buy it in Mexico for a tenth the price.

  3. unless you also think contraception is immoral (like some catholics) most of the pro life croud should be in favor of such a thing. More women taking the pill = less abortions.

    So is it the moral crusaders keeping this from happening, or liberal bureaucratic control freaks who are?

    1. My vote is for politically-connected physicians who want those co-pays to keep rolling in…

      1. Exactly. The whole medical / insurance / regulator relationship is a lot more cozy than it appears. It’s good for all them.

      2. Sure, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot of (very loud, wealthy, well-connected) help from both the bureaucratic control freaks and the religious control freaks.

      3. I agree. It also serves as a handy pap smear rope-in. You want to keep your pill? You gotta come in and sprawl in the stirrups once a year.

    2. some people think that oral contraception is immoral for other reasons. Where do you think those chemicals go when you’re done with them?

  4. Speaking of drilling, Bloomberg reports:

    Diamond Offshore Co., owner of the world’s second-largest floating drilling rig fleet, has filed a separate lawsuit against the regulatory agencies over the ban in Houston federal court. That suit, which accused the government of illegally “taking” its drilling contracts, worth up to $500,000 a day, has a scheduling conference in Houston this afternoon before U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas.

  5. Women aren’t stupid

    True, and this explains why there are so few female libertarians.

    Sorry, CMW, couldn’t resist that one…

    1. Sorry, CMW, couldn’t resist that one…

      Learn how to initialize before you try to be funny.

      1. Personally I think Dan G. is hilarious.

        1. Can T. would’ve been funnier.

          1. Please… I never asked to be held up to Pan T.’s standards.

    2. Sorry, CMW, couldn’t resist that one…

      I’m sure she’s devastated.

  6. Remember Carlin’s routine on the names they’ll come up with when birth control come off prespcription:

    Womb Broom

    1. How about Egg Beaters?

  7. My great and superior seed overcomes all such paltry resistance.
    (Adjusts monocle)

    1. Were your seed truly great and superior, you wouldn’t need that corrective lens.

      1. Monocles are for style, not vision correction. Personally, my monocle is a HUD for my targeting system.

        1. Mine’s actuallty a cockring. I like it near my nose so I can always smell it.

          1. XP

  8. For men it’s just too risky to believe she’s really taking the pill anyway. Better to rely on the ball cozy.

    1. Something tells me that keeping your testicles in an electrostatic field may not be the wisest of ideas. Do you need a grounding strap for that thing?

  9. Statistically, the average American is a stupid woman.

    (There are even side benefits to taking the pill, like reduced risks of ovarian and uterine cancer.)

    The side “benefit” that’s of special interest to libertarians is that women on the pill are rendered hormonally incapable of biological selection. So dorks with money be gettin’ laid, yo.

    (Side effect of side effect may include increased incidence of autism.)

    1. I think you mean *median* american.

  10. Two words: Hazmat suits.

  11. Isn’t this like the third article about the pill in the last month?

  12. Still utterly fails to even mention the whole issue with how the pill screws the very sex drive that it supposedly allows women to enjoy, in many more cases than it should.

    1. Yes, and the post doesn’t even mention college football. Which it should, because I like college football.

      1. Steff, get with the program. Libertarians don’t give a shit about women. They are not going to care if they have orgasms.

  13. Contact Lenses! In my case same prescription for more than 10 years but I still have to see the doc, pay for an exam and pay for the damn things at a premium……

  14. Prediction* – When the pill goes OTC minors will be prohibited from purchasing it.

    I know it’s stupid** but legislators are scared stiff of the idea that teens have sex or that they would be seen as promoting it.

    * I’d bet money on this.
    ** I’d have the school nurse confidentially handing them out. Teen pregnancy ruins lives.

    1. Lemme help, J sub

      I know it’s stupid** but legislators are scared get stiff of at the idea that teens have sex

  15. Another pill that has related stupid regulations: pseudoephedrine.

    Because of the idiots making meth out of it, my wife has to sign her name in a register and show her driver’s license every time she wants to buy a pack of Sudafed – they keep it behind the counter and she has to ask for it – and she can’t buy more than one pack at a time. And it’s expensive as hell. Given that we’re always getting allergies and sinus headaches, it would be much more convenient to be able to stock up on it, but no – we’ve got to buy one pack at a time. And I’m sure that if she bought a pack a week for a few weeks to stock up, it would send up a flag somewhere and sooner or later, the state police would be knocking on our door to look for the meth lab.

    1. Oh, and heaven forbid you get a little sniffly and “borrow” one of her Sudafeds – she’ll run out a day before she’s allowed to get more. Happens all the time in my house. I’m the “addict”, and my wife is rarely able to buy her own Claritin-D due to odd work hours (not many 24-hour pharmacies around here).

      And what the hell are you supposed to do if your kids *also* use psudoephedrine?

      It’s just like gun control – making it harder for law-abiding citizens, without having any serious impact on the criminals.

      Seriously, if I ever find a pallet of this shit that fell off a truck, I will be the happiest man alive.

  16. One cheer for the Times on this one. They only found libertarianism on this issue because it involves, indirectly, something going into or coming out of the pelvis. The Pelvic Left has no use for liberty unless it has something to do with consequence-free fucking. When the issue doesn’t have something to do with screwing, by all means, let’s have the federal government regulate the short out off it. For the children.

    Bastards all.

  17. The pill meets F.D.A. criteria for over-the-counter medications.

    Interesting. Is the pill a form of “medication”?

    med?i?ca?tion ?noun
    The use or application of medicine.

    med?i?cine ?noun
    Any substance or substances used in treating disease or illness; medicament; remedy.

    What disease or illness is the pill a remedy for? That’s right, nothing. The pill is not medication.

    1. Yeah right dude. Best blue-ball medication ever devised.

  18. I recall reading about when various allergy medications went OTC people bitching because their insurance no longer covered it. I’m willing to bet the same is true regarding birth control.

    1. And then the price fell off a cliff.

      Perfect libertarian argument against nationalized health care.

  19. Any other guys here ever go on a vacation with the girlfriend — only to realize she forgot her pills once you got there? Being able to run out to CVS wouldn’t be a bad option, let me tell you.

    1. Sure, Rhayader. She “forgot” her pills. I feel your pain, buddy.

    2. Any other guys here ever go on a vacation with the girlfriend — only to realize she forgot her pills once you got there? Being able to run out to CVS wouldn’t be a bad option, let me tell you.

      “That’s ok sweety…we’ll just do anal”

  20. The women I know who are on the pill generally agree that getting the prescription from a doctor is a good idea – because the pill has side effects.

    One in particular was denied a prescription because her blood pressure was too high – and the pill would raise it more.

    1. Not only that, some birth controls (Yaz/Yasmin) raise potassium levels and can lead to arrhythmias

    2. There are contraindictions with the birth control pill just as with any medication. However, after an initial medical clearance, there is very little reason to force women to continually schedule yearly visits to gain another prescription. Moreover, one of the big reasons Drs. give yearly scripts is to force women to come in to get paps and pelvic exams. Indeed, most physicians will not prescribe birth control without first performing a pap and pelvic, this despite indications that women with low risk need paps no more than once every few years. Most importantly, why the fucking fuck do you need a pap before the doctor will prescribe birth control? In this instance birth control is clearly being used to forward a separate health care agenda, which is both immoral and unethical on the part of physicians. There is no justification in this instance for subjecting women to unwanted medical procedures simply so that they can receive a medication they want.

      1. It horrifies me how American women are medically controlled their entire lives. I can’t imagine being forced to have unnecessary and potentially harmful exams to get the Pill; that is clearly coercion. Are all of your doctors unethical?
        The well-woman exam is not evidence based, the pelvic exam is of poor value in the absence of symptoms and exposes you to risk – more investigation, even surgery.
        We don’t have them at any age, ever!
        Routine breast exams don’t help, but cause biopsies.
        Rectal exam – too ridiculous for words!
        Pap tests are voluntary and have risks and benefit a very small number of women, our informed consent is legally required – it is your decision whether you screen or not and how often. 0.65% of women benefit from smears, 0.35% get false positives and 99% derive no benefit, but all women who test accept risk from false positives, which are common. This cancer is rare and would affect 1% of women in an unscreened developed country. 95% of US women will be referred for colposcopy and biopsy in their lifetime, most are false positives. Some are left with damage leading to – infertility, high risk pregnancies, miscarriages, premature babies and psych issues.
        Finland has the lowest rates of cc in the world – they offer women 5 to 7 tests in total – 5 yearly from 30. They also send fewer women for colposcopy/biopsies, 30%-55% (fewer false positives)
        Screening doesn’t affect the tiny death rate in the under 25 age group, but causes massive harm with false positives.
        As a low risk woman, my risk of this cancer is near zero, the risks are too high for me with this testing and I have always declined screening.
        BC has nothing to do with cancer screening…all you need is a blood pressure test. Demands for unnecessary exams is a violation of the Patient Bill of Rights. Ask your Dr what law prevents a script for the Pill without these exams? This is an unethical try-on to “sell” women exams that are unnecessary, excessive and harmful and to force cancer screening that legally requires your informed consent – it can only ever be an option, never a law…because it carries risk to your healthy body.
        The risks of an unplanned pregnancy or abortion are FAR, FAR greater than rare cervical cancer.
        This is a shameful abuse of women’s bodies and rights.
        The facts are at Dr Joel Sherman’s medical privacy blog under women’s privacy issues. See articles by DeMay and Raffle…the latter is a UK expert who published findings in the BMJ in 2004, “1000 women need regular smears for 35 years to save ONE woman from cc”.
        I hope you all fight back and reclaim your bodies and rights.

    3. the pill has side effects

      And we all know women are too stupid to make decisions about those side effects on their own, amirite? Right?

  21. Steff, get with the program. Libertarians don’t give a shit about women. They are not going to care if they have orgasms.

      1. Genius headline expert!

        Steny to Middle Class: Bend Over

  22. Only problem is once it’s over the counter, insurance won’t pay for it. That could be a real hardship for low-income women.

    1. And then the Walmart, Walgreens, etc., will pick up a generic for $10 per month.

      Cheaper than a co-pay.

  23. I wonder whether Hit & Run will ever reconsider its unmoderated-comments policy. It would certainly make for a less idiotic atmosphere if they did.

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