Free Minds & Free Markets

Over-the-Counter Contraception Is Immensely Popular. But Democrats Have Doomed It.

In 2019, it’s liberals, not conservatives, who are holding the pill hostage for political gain.

Ingram Publishing/NewscomIngram Publishing/NewscomIf you live in the United States, you can't obtain birth control pills without a prescription from a doctor. This federal requirement means that the roughly 10.6 million American women on oral contraception must accept regular, invasive, and unnecessary medical care as part of preventing pregnancy.

When the pill first came to the U.S. in 1960, such prescription-only status made some sense. Medical professionals were uncertain how many women would react physiologically. And hormone levels in the first commercially available brand were incredibly high—10,000 micrograms progestin and 50–150 micrograms estrogen, compared to 50–150 micrograms progestin and 20–50 micrograms estrogen on average recently.

But in the nearly 60 years since then, pill formulations have become at least as benign as your average drugstore-aisle offering. Decades of research favors the idea that over-the-counter (OTC) oral contraceptives are safe. They're sold without a prescription in nations across the world, and high-dose emergency contraception has been sold over-the-counter in the U.S. for years. Safety isn't the issue.

Nor is there an obvious political impediment. Republicans believe (at least sporadically) in individual rights and deregulation, and a number of GOP lawmakers have recently supported ending the prescription requirement. Democrats often wax on about a woman's right to take control of her reproductive destiny, and in the past many have pushed for freeing the pill, too. So legalizing OTC contraception should represent common policy ground.

Yet the prescription requirement remains on the books. Why?

For years, blame could be cast on the traditional villains of progressive politics: social conservatives who opposed the pill, the Bible thumpers in the Republican Party who pandered to them, and drug companies with no incentive to do anything that might puncture their profits.

But recently, thanks to Obamacare, Democrats have become the primary impediment to freeing up rules around the sale of contraception. In 2019, it's liberals, not conservatives, who are holding the pill hostage for political gain.

The Case for OTC Contraception

America's paternalistic gatekeeping to contraceptive access is not supported by medical evidence, influential health care groups, or popular opinion.

To put America's prescription rule in context, consider how uncommon it is internationally. Out of 147 countries, the U.S. is among just 45 where a prescription is necessary to obtain birth control pills, according to a study from Daniel Grossman of Ibis Reproductive Health. Polling consistently shows that women favor over-the-counter access. A 2017 survey by the Kaiser Health Foundation found three quarters of women of reproductive age supported "making oral contraceptives available over the counter if the FDA said it was safe and effective."

That support may be especially high among women who previously had an unintended pregnancy or abortion, suggesting that OTC pills could be quite effective in reducing unintended pregnancies.

A 2014 survey from UCSF's Bixby Center focused on members of that group, finding that all but 19 percent were in favor of making birth control pills prescription-free. Only 42 percent said they planned to go on the pill soon, but 61 percent said they would if they could get it over the counter. And around a third of women "who planned to use no contraceptive following their abortion said they would use an over-the-counter pill, as did 38% who planned to use condoms afterward," note the study authors in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Studies also show that women and teens can effectively self-screen for contraindications to hormonal birth control, that they're prone to err on the side of caution concerning any gray areas, and that doctors aren't always reliable prescribers anyway. Birth control "recommendations of family medicine physicians were found to be inconsistent with CDC guidelines 23% of the time for oral contraceptives (OCs) and 40% of the time for intrauterine devices (IUDs)," according to one study from 2003–06.

Yet under the current status quo, obtaining birth control generally requires a specialized doctor's visit and fee plus a separate trip to the pharmacy, as well as a spate of unrelated tests, since doctors have long made cervical cancer testing and other invasive vaginal examinations a condition of getting contraception. Women must return to the doctor every year or two to maintain the prescription and, in many cases, are barred from obtaining more than a three-month supply of pills at a time.

As a result, a significant number of U.S. women report difficulties in obtaining prescription birth control. A 2016 study found that among U.S. women who had tried to get or refill a prescription, nearly one-third ran into trouble. (Ten years earlier, only one-fourth of women had trouble, according to a 2006 study published in the journal Contraception.) Uninsured women, Spanish-speaking women, and women with less than a high-school education were the most likely to report issues.

"Difficulties included cost barriers or lack of insurance (14%), challenges obtaining an appointment or getting to a clinic (13%), the clinician requiring a clinic visit, exam, or Pap smear (13%), not having a regular doctor/clinic (10%), difficulty accessing a pharmacy (4%), and other reasons (4%)," notes Ibis Reproductive Health.

Affordability presented an obstacle to medical care for about one-quarter of women in the 2017 Kaiser survey. But it was far from the only barrier, with roughly similar percentages citing a lack of time in general or inability to get time off work, and 14 percent citing unreliable transportation or issues with child care.

As these surveys make clear, insurance coverage alone—even coverage that makes pills themselves "free"—is an insufficient condition for expanding birth control access. That's why women's rights advocates have long supported lifting restrictions on access to contraception—a notion that conservatives traditionally opposed.

Photo Credit: Ingram Publishing/Newscom

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    BAIT AND SWITCH. Over at Hit & Run this was advertised as a Peter Suderman joint. I only read it because I wanted to see where he got off tackling a subject so far out of his lane.

    There is, of course, a politcally racist (or racistly political) motivation that could be assigned to the Democrats for not wanting - and the Republicans for wanting - easy access to birth control in certain reliable voting blocs. Quite frankly, I shouldn't be the one floating it.

  • Just Say'n||

    Progressives AGAINST eugenics? Woah- if true

  • Mr. JD||

    There's a first time for everything?

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    I knew it wasn't Suderman when I read "Republicans believe (at least sporadically) in individual rights and deregulation"

    He knows not to ruin his chances at Vox

  • ||

    On the career advancement scale is Vox really for true ahead of Reason?

  • ThomasD||

    If by career advancement you mean moving on to jobs in the mainstream media - e.g. WaPo, CNN, etc. then clearly yes.

  • ||

    Well that's not a very libertarian moment. Pft.

  • Fancylad||

    The big players look upon Reason tenure with suspicion because it purports to be nominally libertarian. That's why everyone here pays lip service to woke hive-mind pieties, and excuse away progressive authoritarianism, while calling out the smallest offense on the right. Who the hell wants the National Review on their CV, it's not like the Federalist can pay it's writers in money.

    If you want a career you need WaPo's Amazon dollars, or the NYT's Sulzberger scratch, or Turner Broadcasting System or Disney moolah. And they won't hire you if your not solid in the doctrine and faith, and that means a turn at a "reliable" institution like Salon, Slate, Vox, Buzzfeed, etc.

    Reason is just the toe in the door.

  • buybuydandavis||

    John Galt Jr - Sock = Hihn

  • KevinP||

    This is another battle in the War on Women.

    The dark cloud of the War Against Women is forever hovering over Republicans but usually manages to land on Progressives and Democrats.

    Kamala Harris aide resigns after harassment, retaliation settlement surfaces

    A longtime top staff member of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris resigned Wednesday after The Sacramento Bee inquired about a $400,000 harassment and retaliation settlement resulting from his time working for Harris at the California Department of Justice.

    Larry Wallace, who served as the director of the Division of Law Enforcement under then-Attorney General Harris, was accused by his former executive assistant in December 2016 of "gender harassment" and other demeaning behavior, including frequently asking her to crawl under his desk to change the paper in his printer.

    The lawsuit was filed on Dec. 30, 2016, when Harris was still attorney general.

    Harris, who has said she will decide over the holidays whether to run for president in 2020, has been a prominent figure in the #MeToo movement against workplace sexual harassment. Last year, she was among a group of female senators that were the first to call for the resignation of Sen. Al Franken after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct, and she introduced a bill in June to ban forced nondisclosure agreements in harassment settlements.
  • Juice||

    "gender harassment"

    Ok, what is it?

  • JesseAz||

    You do know that if it was filed in December, the harassment took place before right dumbfuck?

  • MSimon||

    Before December "gender harassment"

  • Earth Skeptic||

    What? The Democrats are doing somersaults just to keep a political issue alive (and in spite of how their actions impede "choice" and "women")? Can't be true.

  • KevinP||

    The dark cloud of the War Against Women is forever hovering over Republicans but usually manages to land on Progressives and Democrats.

    "Concerned" Dems aren't concerned about past sexual assaults by Dems

    Excerpts (but read the article):
    Senate Democrats say it's unacceptable to have on the Supreme Court someone "credibly" accused of assaulting a woman 36 years ago, when he was in high school. Who among these "outraged" Senators has complained about serving with Democratic colleagues credibly accused of, and admitting to, assaulting women?

    Sen. Sherrod Brown's ex-wife claimed in court documents that Brown threw her up against a wall and showed "physical violence and abusive nature."

    Sen. Tom Carper admits he gave his ex-wife a black eye.

    Sen. Cory Booker has admitted groping a friend when he was in high school.

    And what about Sen. Mazie Hirono? She asks every male judicial nominee whether he has ever sexually harassed or assaulted anyone. But she accepted $1,000 from Sen. Carper's PAC in June of this year.

    Keith Ellison, Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee stands very credibly accused of assaulting two women as an adult. Contemporaneous police records back up at least one of the assault claims. [and was recently elected as Minnesota's Attorney General by Democrats].
  • Hank Phillips||

    I too would like ENB slip us a list of names. In the Bandana Republics where there is NO bill of rights, I can walk in and buy birth control pills no questions asked despite my wrong chromosomes. Now that DNA testing can make Junta fascist politicians and generalissimos liable for child support for nearly two decades, the Pope iv Rome can take a hike with his altar boys! Those pills, condoms, diaphragms are all legal as sea salt and the illegal things are as easy to get as acid was in Haight Ashbury. But the law is still written to please male Italian mystics who pay not a penny in child support but millions in pederasty coverups. The illegal thing you WON'T find south of Mexico is a libertarian party.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "The illegal thing you WON'T find south of Mexico is a libertarian party."

    They all moved to the US!

  • Dillinger||

    >>>Yet the prescription requirement remains on the books. Why?

    b/c people are still stupid enough to give money to politicians.

  • JesseAz||

    Because the AMA has high paying lobbyists and they like the money received from yearly visits for prescriptions.

  • DarrenM||

    Making birth control pills available OTC would hit Planned Parenthood. We can't have that.

  • SIV||

    When the pill first came to the U.S. in 1960, ...

    But in the nearly 70 years since then

    "Math class is tough!"

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Stop mansplaining.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Math is racist AND sexist

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    My first reaction was to wonder if I'd pulled a Rip van Winkle.

  • Robert||

    I saw that as an example of hyperbolizing in plain sight. After all, nearly 60 is nearly 70, right?

  • Tamfang||

    I was born in 1960, and I'm not ready to turn nearly 70!

  • Outofpatience||

    Don't you know it's all about morality, not math?

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    If Democrats really are preventing some forms of birth control from being available over the counter, I'm sure they have excellent science-based reasons for doing so. In fact I hope Democrats make reproductive rights a major campaign theme in 2020.

  • NoVaNick||

    Last I checked, love of power over a voting group isn't a science-based reason, although it is frequently used as such. See also: progressive opposition to nuclear power and carbon capture to mitigate climate change

  • Kevin Smith||

    Better example: All the fearmongering over SCOTUS possibly overturning Roe, but not introducing a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to an abortion (despite finding the time to introduce one to eliminate the electoral college)

  • Just Say'n||

    The pill not being over the counter still doesn't justify the government requiring others to purchase it. Sure, let the pill be over the counter.

  • ||

    Didn't Obama take Nuns to court over the pill?

  • Just Say'n||

    Yes. And now CA is trying to take them to court for the same reason after the Trump administration offered them a blanket exemption.

  • ||

    Lol. Sniveling rats.

  • Just Say'n||

    For the most part, access to the pill has never been an issue. This was always about control. Guttmacher, an abortion rights group, even admitted that before mandated contraceptive coverage 95% of all women who wanted access to such drugs had them. Even the argument of over the counter birth control, while it's fine by me, is really a non-issue.

  • DarrenM||

    "Little Sisters of the Poor" I think that was.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    If reaching the apex of women's reproductive rights means sweeping aside a federal bureaucracy, you know what the choice will be.

  • Muzzled Woodchipper||

    A strengthened and emboldened federal bureaucracy.

  • Nardz||

    Bad picture.
    That chick is gross

  • Dillinger||

    i dunno the red hair is kind of a leg-up despite the lack of prom-queen face

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    FDA jobs and cronyism.

    The answer to all medical questions that involve bad healthcare.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    A few years ago, Republican Cory Gardner introduced an OTC birth control bill and progressives shat their pants, including those who just before then had been pushing for OTC birth control.

    There's really no reason for progressives to oppose this, other than they perceive it as a stumbling block for their current plan to have an NHS implemented.

  • Robert||

    There is an add'l, probably more powerful reason: spite. It's like, "You Republicans can't get off the hook that easy, because we know you really want to oppress women!" It's like, "You can't get off so easy by modifying your gun to comply w the law!" It's like Jehova hardening Pharaoh's heart vs. the Jews, so he can punish both of them more.

  • Thomas O.||

    Solution: make the pills OTC and prescibable. It's being done with ranitidine, among other medications I'm sure.

    Opposition to these laws makes it obvious that someone doesn't want their political football intercepted.

  • DarrenM||

    Anything is prescribable (is that a word?)

  • SIV||

    Yet the prescription requirement remains on the books. Why?

    For years, blame could be cast on the traditional villains of progressive politics: social conservatives who opposed the pill, the Bible thumpers in the Republican Party who pandered to them, and drug companies with no incentive to do anything that might puncture their profits.

    But recently, thanks to Obamacare, Democrats have become the primary impediment to freeing up rules around the sale of contraception. In 2019, it's liberals, not conservatives, who are holding the pill hostage for political gain.

    "History class is tough! Let's make sandwiches for the boys"

  • Just Say'n||

    Seems like it was religious zealots who forced everyone, including nuns, to pay for everyone else's contraceptives. But, of course they will never be derided as such.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    It would be just as fair to say contraception was included in ObamaCare because conservatives would not let it be sold OTC.

  • Just Say'n||

    That would be fair if any of what you said happened. I mentioned something that really happened. But, yeah, we needed it mandated because the existing access of 95% was too low

  • SIV||

    Liz fails to offer a citation for that paragraph. Hence the "could be cast" qualifier. The history of opposition to contraception, and particularly the laws against it, originate largely from social purity progressives before they were into eugenics. "Bible-Belt" states (with the exception of Mississippi) weren't the ones banning contraception.Feminists pushed for more government restrictions on birth control pills in the 1970s in the name of "women's health".

  • Just Say'n||

    Obama overruled his own FDA when they allowed Plan B to be sold over the counter.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Sounds to me like you just did

  • Moderation4ever||

    I like the idea of OTC birth control. It already has a start if you consider condoms. What I like to see the author address is how do we handle female contraception that does require medical intervention. Long term implanted devices or medicine administered by injection. If we get OTC for the general birth control pills can we get universal coverage for the others? I also like to see addressed the misogyny in the treatment of female reproductive health. The idea that providing birth control to women is a violation of some religious belief, but handing out ED pills and testosterone is acceptable. So how about OTC for birth control, ED pills and testosterone and universal inclusion of other female birth control in health care coverage.

  • Nardz||

    Why do progressives grasp for the universal in all cases?
    Oh yea - totalitarianism!

    Fuck off, bitch

  • wreckinball||

    You lost me with "universal". We don't "universally" need the pill.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The Poles, French and Czechs weren't worried about German Lebensraum either. It wasn't universal to them until after the Hitler-Stalin Pact. Life was soooo unfair before nuclear technology!

  • Just Say'n||

    "So how about OTC for birth control, ED pills and testosterone and universal inclusion of other female birth control in health care coverage."

    How about none of that and you do what you want and I do what I want.

  • Hank Phillips||

    My conclusion is that the First Amendment protects the Free (not coercive) exercise thereof. Dixiecrat and God's Own Prohibitionist selective bullying of women via males casting votes is as "religious" as Christian National Socialist efforts to exterminate Jews based on binary Mendelian ideas they could eliminate the selfish gene and make the world safe for altruism--by deadly initiation of force. Alleles and DNA were mysteries in 1940, but the First Amendment was and is violated in These States. Observe in the GOP platform they demand to rewrite the 14th Amendment to say All Ova Fertilized! Then they demand the coathanger Amendment! The LP is being gulled into graceless suicide, women cross the street to avoid us. Remember, it was the LP that once had the guts to write Roe v Wade and slip it to La Suprema Corte before Wallace Dixiecrats won several states! Just before that it was a felony for doctors to even advise couples!

  • Just Say'n||

    You forget, of course, that the original LP 1974 platform called for religious accommodation.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    tl;dr (4 pages!)

    Government is all about control. It encourages, nay demands, that you spend more and more time trying to influence government so it will control others before they influence government to control you.

    99% of what government handles does not need to be handled by government, and would be handled better by free markets.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Comstock law religious bigots "want to be seen as anti-abortion and pro–religious liberty..." This is standard predator mimesis. A deer hunter cross-dresses like a pile of leaves, a false cleanerfish imitates the real ones to bite victims and cuckoo young resemble the baby birds they kill and replace. The fact remains that the entire Republican platform seeks only to force women at gunpoint into involuntary servitude because TR's 1903 race-suicide letter or because equally superstitious Mohammedans might brainwash more kids. The LP wrote Roe v Wade but NARAL doesn't know that. They endorse Beto without regard to his Hitler plank on gagging the media or econazi support for banning electrical generation. Yet the LP is constantly infiltrated by fifth columnists since 1974. They tried successfully to make us look like child abusers, then injected the "good-faith-based" straddle plank like it were Job One of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

  • Just Say'n||

    It takes a lot of mental gymnastics to label the people who don't want to be forced to do something by the government into the bad guys.

  • Fancylad||

    No clue why he's on a "libertarian" site TBQH. Maybe he's Setyon's sock.

  • wreckinball||

    "The fact remains that the entire Republican platform seeks only to force women at gunpoint into involuntary servitude "

    What? The point of the article was that women should be able to buy the pill OTC. Did you read it?

  • Longtobefree||

    What? There are actual articles behind the clickbait? Whodathunkit.
    I thought we just came here and posted a bunch of random stuff trying to get one of the Hinn clan to pop up.

  • KevinP||

    Hank Phillips: the entire Republican platform seeks only to force women at gunpoint into involuntary servitude

    The dark cloud of the War Against Women is forever hovering over Republicans but usually manages to land on Progressives and Democrats.

    Senator Hirono Didn't Always Tell Men to 'Shut Up' and Believe Accusers: When it mattered in her own backyard, with a male Democratic senator, she turned a blind eye to sexual abuse.

    In the 1990s credible allegations were made that Daniel Inouye, then a Democratic senator from Hawaii, had engaged in a pattern of sexual assault.

    Lenore Kwock, the senator's hairdresser for 20 years, said she had been forced into nonconsensual sex back in 1975 and had suffered persistent gropings since then.

    Kwock was surprised at the silence of Hawaii's female political leaders about her account, given that the Anita Hill hearings had riveted the nation just one year earlier. Mazie Hirono, then considered a protégé of Inouye's as a member of the State House, maintained a studied and consistent silence. There is no evidence she believed Kwock.

    Senator Mazie Hirono today poses as a brave feminist cultural warrior, but when it really counted in her own backyard in Hawaii, she was AWOL. The same holds true when Bill Clinton's predations were in the news in the late 1990s.

  • wreckinball||

    Tell me again how having government health care will be so much better?

  • Longtobefree||

    Because it saves $2,500.00 a year on premiums, and I got to keep my doctor and my health plan. Period.

  • DarrenM||

    Was that savings amount using the government idea of "savings"? We plan for premiums to go up $6000/year. Since they only went up $3500/year, that would be a savings of $2500/year.

  • Longtobefree||

    And yet, somehow, that savings never showed up as a deposit to any of my accounts - - - - - -

  • ErinS||

    Katie McDonough called the OTC pill push "a transparent attempt to chip away at the Affordable Care Act" that would "do very little to expand access, particularly to low-income women in rural areas."

    What a liar. Yes, I'm sure taking a day off work to go to the doctor to get your birth control pill prescription refilled in the closest town is way more convenient for rural women than grabbing a few packs next time they are at Walmart.

  • KevinP||

    You can buy Oral Contraceptives from Walmart for $9/month ($108/year) and there is a Walmart in almost every town now.

    Walmart Family Planning Prescriptions

    If there is no Walmart in your town,
    you can have the medications shipped to you for free

  • Mock-star||

    "The cost is ZERO if insured"

    I bet its not......

  • Archibald Baal||

    "freedom of conscious"

    Need an editing pass, Liz

  • BYODB||

    Last I saw BC pills can kill a woman dead, even though the probability is low. Tylenol is OTC though, so who cares?

  • Longtobefree||

    If we start letting women get birth control pills over the counter, like other birth control methods, the next thing you know, we will allow them to kill babies on a whim.

  • Echospinner||

    States have the power to do this. They can create new legislation or issue a blanket prescription to allow pharmacy dispensing.

    This is something people should push for. The contraceptives should be OTC. Major medical organizations agree with this including the AMA, ACOG (Ob/GYN) and AAFP (family practice).

    Also new on the horizon. Researchers have come up with a new delivery system. It is a sort of patch with dissolvable micro needles. The woman just applies the patch then removes it leaving the tiny hormone impregnated needles in place and lasts for 30 days. It does not hurt to apply and can be made cheaply. They are working on something which could be effective longer, up to 6 months.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Perhaps the Gillette ad should have shown a man buying his woman some birth control pills.

  • Robert||

    Perhaps the Gillette ad should have shown a man buying his woman some birth control pills.

  • DarrenM||

    If he was smart, he'd just rent.

  • Robert||

    On p. 3 I think you mean transient, not transigent. But on p. 4 I'm mystified by "undocumented access to medical care".

  • jerbigge||

    Democrats hate the idea of people taking care of such matters without a doctor overseeing everything and making his own profit every time someone needs a prescription filled. For over a decade now I have advocated repeal of prescription laws as the first step to reducing the cost of US healthcare. As it stands, prescription laws effectively give doctors a government enforced legal monopoly that they no doubt are happy to have. Their patients of course have a different viewpoint of having to pay professional fees for something most people could handle themselves.

  • KevinP||

    Doctors do charge money for the visit that enables them to issue a prescription.

  • perlchpr||

    See if you can get some psych meds, too.

  • perlchpr||

    Indeed. And it's not even just fucking drugs.

    I have to get a prescription for supplies for my goddamn CPAP. Like, the filters and the tubing and the mask and stuff. It's just silicone and nylon and the like, totally inert.

    But no, I have to make an appointment to see a doctor at the sleep clinic so I can get a prescription, which won't be any different than the last ten times I've done it, in order to be able to legally buy the supplies.

  • Longtobefree||

    Same thing with test strips and lancets for diabetics.
    But without a prescription, the price would plummet.
    Are you trying to force the shareholders of pharmaceutical stocks to go hungry?
    Do you want doctors to have to lay off the clerks that process all the unnecessary prescriptions?
    You probably think the $15.00/hr minimum wage is a bad idea.

  • jerbigge||

    A further thought: FDR is the President who signed our prescription laws into law. FDR was also a person who believed that government should be expanded and people should be forced to do what the government wanted...

  • Fancylad||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • perlchpr||

    Fuck off, Hihn.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Prescription drugs are rather asinine. Once the drug leaves the hand of the pharmacist, the recipient can abuse the drug (ie self medicate) any way they like until they OD or poison themselves, assuming that a consumer has any perverse incentive to abuse the drug in the first place. How many bean counters and bureaucrats are required to look after people who are too stupid to understand proper dosage or the dangers of black market drugs? Probably an infinite number.

  • James Pollock||

    A possible side effect of OTC sales would be that people who are opposed to birth control (for whatever reason) and are opposed to it enough to put money behind it, could start going into drugstores and buying up the entire supply, thus hoping to interfere with availability to people who want it to use correctly.

  • perlchpr||

    I'm guessing Planned Parenthood saw that all those women getting to "plan for parenthood" without involving them--and all that sweet, sweet abortion money they'd lose out on if they performed fewer of them--cutting into their bottom line and decided to do the rational thing... for themselves.

  • buybuydandavis||

    When will it occur to Reason that health care freedom might be good to have generally, instead of just for birth control and getting high?

    When that actual free market idea wouldn't hurt corporate profits?

  • Penny_Worth||

    Leave it to reason to find a reasonable solution for this. Though on principle I'd prefer charities in the private sector provide them, to me this would be far more conscionable than continuing to fund abortion providers with federal money. (And for those Christians on the right and left of the political spectrum who may disagree, I don't think the founder of our faith ever endorse forcing your will on anyone, and the same can be said for so-called pro-choicers who support federal funding of 'abortion providers') PP's history was far better on this issue (supporting birth control over abortion) in the earlier days.Splinter news has an article that can be found on Google, *if* you make a specific search: how plannedparenthood ads evolved.

  • drisco304||

    Make all prescription medicine over-the-counter. Lower cost, more convenience, and more freedom. What, are we worried that someone will go home and kill themselves by overdosing on statins?

  • Longtobefree||

    Let me guess; you sell birth control pills on the web?

  • GreenLantern||

    Good article, and all true - but it leaves out entirely the role of Ralph Nader and his henchman-for-healthcare, Dr. Sidney Wolfe, who through the decades has steadfastly opposed OTC status for oral contraceptives, saying that it would increase the use of the pills by women at risk for serious side effects.

    Sidney never actually practiced medicine and failed his boards, but he has been on the FDA advisory committee while I haven't (despite being more qualified)....

  • Will Nonya||

    The issue is that making birth control available to anyone who can pay removes it as a wedge issue for the universal healthcare movement.

    Making it widely and affordably available isn't the same as making it "free" and removing it as an example of the war on women isn't politically helpful. Its just another example of the hypocrisy of politics trumping the actual need.

  • Adina123||

    Such a well-written article (I am a physician and agree with this whole-heartedly). Brava!

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