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Conservative La. Gov. Jindal Calls for Nonprescription Oral Contraceptive Sales in Op-Ed

Conservative La. Gov. Jindal Calls for Nonprescription Oral Contraceptive Sales in Op-Ed

December 14, 2012 — In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) expresses support for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' recommendation that oral contraceptives be sold without a prescription, saying the move would "take contraception out of the political arena."

However, Jindal suggests that nonprescription access to contraceptives be limited to adults only. He argues that women currently need a prescription to obtain the drugs "because big government says they should, even though requiring a doctor visit to get a drug that research shows is safe helps drive up health-care costs," and "because big pharmaceutical companies benefit from it."

Jindal continues, "As a conservative Republican, I believe that we have been stupid to let the Democrats demagogue the contraceptives issue and pretend, during debates about health-care insurance, that Republicans are somehow against birth control."

Employers should not be "forced by government health-care edicts to purchase [contraception] for others," Jindal argues. He also takes issue with a provision in the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) that made over-the-counter purchases ineligible for reimbursement from health savings accounts, which he says would make it more difficult for women to obtain birth control if it were to be available OTC.

"Contraception is a personal matter -- the government shouldn't be in the business of banning it or requiring a woman's employer to keep tabs on her use of it," Jindal states, adding that insurers and their customers should be free to decide about coverage and that if "a consumer wants to buy birth control on her own, she should be free to do so"(Jindal, Wall Street Journal, 12/13).