Why Bobby Jindal Is Not Your Birth Control Buddy

Bobby Jindal has called for over-the-counter access to birth control.

Just like the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians. So wait, doesn’t that mean he’s like your new feminist friend? No, no, no and no.

Let’s parse out Bobby’s own words:

1. He’s antsy the Republicans are losing votes over birth control.
This is cynical stuff. He could have paired up with a health advocate to write about decreasing maternal mortality, reducing poverty, improving health outcomes — in other words he could have led with women. But nope, gang, he’s not motivated by women’s health — he’s motivated by political gain. And, he said so himself.

2. He wants women, not insurers, to pay for birth control.
Remember that great new contraception without copay benefit under the Affordable Care Act? The one that meant you could stop paying a sex discrimination surcharge anywhere between about $15-50 per month that men don’t have to pay for all their preventive care prescriptions? Well, Bobby has come out and said he supports over-the-counter birth control because he wants insurers not to pay. And he’s also said he wants to allow employers to refuse coverage of birth control. Bring back the men-only congressional hearings!

And what if your needs are best served by a permanent or semi-permanent form of contraception? Tough luck, ladies.

3. Super-slime: He’s trying to introduce an age restriction into the new debate.
Bobby believes “every adult (age 18 and over) should be able to purchase over-the-counter birth control.” This age-restriction nonsense is nowhere near the original American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians statement. ACOG’s position supporting over-the-counter birth control just came out this month. It’s new. And Bobby’s trying to run out in front of their message. He’s trying to control what promises to be an ensuing debate so it includes politician-inserted restrictions for young people — before it has barely begun.

Not all women’s health advocates agree with the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians new position supporting over-the-counter birth control, particularly when so many just fought so hard for no-copay insurance coverage. Still, there’s no question that the group counted very good reasons among their motivations, including to improve women’s health and expand access to contraceptives.

It is sleazy politics for Bobby Jindal to for try to co-opt a new argument about access to birth control and turn it into an argument for reducing access.

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