Social conservative darling and faithful Catholic Bobby Jindal has a piece in the Wall Street Journal (behind a pay-wall) this morning agreeing with the recent pronouncement of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that birth control pills should be available without a prescription and bought over the counter. He says the issue should be taken out of the political arena and that such a potent weapon would be taken out of the hands of Democrats:
As a conservative Republican, I believe that we have been stupid to let Democrats demagogue the contraceptives issue and pretend, during debates about health-care insurance, that Republicans are somehow against birth control.
He says women have to go to a doctor for a prescription 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.” He also says big pharmaceutical companies benefit from such an arrangement. “They know prices would be driven down if companies had to compete in the marketplace once their contraceptives would sold over the counter.”
He does say that those with religious problems with contraceptives should also be protected and should not be forced by the government to pay for contraceptives for others.
Not long ago my wife, who works as a spokesman for the Family Research Council, was asked to do an interview on this topic. She asked me one morning, “what is our position on this?” That is a good question.
Pro-lifers tend to believe that contraception is the root cause of many societal evils; divorce, rampant misuse of sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, and abortion. Mary Eberstadt wrote an important book called Adam and Eve After the Pill, which is a persuasive case that the pill has done humongous damage to men, women, children, families, and society. Perhaps, though, the toothpaste will never get back in that tube.
I hope that other First Things and First Thoughts contributors weigh in on Jindal’s piece and his controversial proposition.