Filed under: Freedom, Politics, Women | Tags: "War on Women", Control, Health, The Left
Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) has proposed new legislation to encourage over-the-counter status for birth control. Every medical authority agrees that birth control is advantageous for both individual women and society at large. Removing the prescription barrier would seem to be a great benefit to women, giving them more control over their own health-care choices, reducing costs and improving access.
Well, not so fast! The supposedly pro-woman Left were outraged. Planned Parenthood’s president claimed 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.” Seventy percent of Americans favored making birth control available over-the-counter in a recent poll.
At the present, the federal government requires a prescription for birth control. The prescription requirement means that women must have a once a year visit to the doctor, for pelvic exams and Pap smears. That can help their physicians detect everything from sexually transmitted diseases to cervical cancer, it doesn’t tell them anything about whether a woman can safely take birth control. The World Health Organization and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have said that doctors can safely prescribe the pill without a full examination.
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.
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