The supposedly pro-woman Left has erupted into fury this past week, denouncing new legislation proposed by Senator Cory Gardner (R., Colo.) that seeks to encourage over-the-counter status for birth control.
Salon’s Katie McDonough called the senator perpetually “full of s**t.” Planned Parenthood’s president claimed that the bill “is a sham and an insult to women.” NARAL Pro-Choice America’s president called the idea “nothing but political pandering to trick women and families into thinking we are covered while dismantling one of the most critical gains in the Affordable Care Act.” And Slate’s Amanda Marcotte called it “just a feint.”
The Left’s reflexive criticism of Gardner’s plan derives from a deep public-sector and special-interest-backed paternalism that wants to control women’s health choices just as much as any other supposed patriarchy.
Removing the pharmacy-counter barrier between women and their birth control would give them vastly more, not less, power over their own health-care choices, also reducing health-care costs and improving access.
Right now, the federal government requires a prescription for birth control, even though other over-the-counter drugs (acetaminophen, for example) bear higher health risks, the directions are straightforward, and there’s no risk of overdose.
Practically speaking, the prescription requirement keeps women beholden to their gynecologist, forcing them to submit to intrusive and uncomfortable once-a-year doctor’s visits in exchange for a pink slip for the pill.
But while pelvic exams and Pap smears can help physicians detect everything from sexually transmitted diseases to cervical cancer, these procedures tell them basically nothing about whether a woman can safely take birth control. Authorities as prestigious as the World Health Organization and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have confirmed that doctors can safely prescribe the pill without a full examination. Just as with other low-risk drugs, women are perfectly capable of reading the warning label and self-screening for safety.
Nevertheless, in 2010, the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that 29 percent of doctors always required a pelvic exam before penning a prescription, while an additional 45 percent of them “usually” did so. While preventive care is valuable, this requirement is much like linking men’s access to condoms to annual prostate exams.
In 2013, the New York Times estimated that American women undergo more than 63 million pelvic exams a year. That comes at a huge cost to our health-care system, even disregarding the time women are forced to take off work to visit the doctor.
The examination alone costs around $125, and a Pap test adds roughly $40 to the expense, according to reports by the American Board of Internal Medicine’s nonprofit ABIM Foundation. Planned Parenthood alone makes around $1.2 billion each year from contraceptive services.
With that big cash in mind, is it any wonder special-interest groups from gynecological associations to Planned Parenthood to NARAL have come out swinging against Senator Gardner’s proposal?
Over the counter makes sense. Too friggin many layers to our so-called health system.
A word to the pro abortion crowd. It is too bad your mother did not have an abortion.
$$$$$$ Follow the cash and you'll always find the base for the argument. The left has to support their friends and fund their campaigns. No better place to do that than with tax payer dollars. If you dough that- follow the Candy man in the White House, from day one he has been all over the world handing out tax payer dollars.
This totally strips bare the lie that Planned Parenthood, etc., are truly "pro-choice"!! They only want the women to have the " choices", that they allow!! Land of the Free? What a croc! Not when the Libtard Left has any power!!
It would turn off their cash cow - the abortion mills.
Too bad Obama's Mama didn't have a choice!
they oppose because they give up their control of women. seriously: feminists are into controlling other women, why? Because it is a full time job to control oneself; therefore, anyone attempting the control of another is out of control themselves. (me - my philosophy on why others have such guilt.)
true story: when i was in my early 20s prior to a trip abroad, went to a free clinic/planned parenthood in SF for a checkup etc. to economize. After an "exam" and it was soooo over the top - three females - one a doctor came up with I had cancer. I was 22 years old. Went to my family doctor to see what he thought; he re-exam'd me and did every test available - luckily he was nice and didn't charge me cuz he knew how upset they had made me; and after all the expense (he took on himself) informed: they were wrong. Passed my physical so I could go to Europe etc. Didn't have cancer, no trace - nothing. Anyway, found out later (through doctor's office/his staff checked for me cuz it was so horrible what they tried - back then doctors weren't afraid to tell the truth and report others for doing "experiments" on the population - was informed that chapter of Planned Parenthood was receiving monies for cancer research and patients that they were "treating." I think they were "making up" patients for the funding. Nice people... if you can call them that. I wouldn't trust any Planned Parenthood to take a splinter out of someone's finger.
Put a round or two in it.
1 less liberal='s several freed tax payers.
Are you tired of hearing the same tired old pragmatism? The same calls for more regulations, more laws, more government spending? And the situation only gets worse?
Try the principled approach: