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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican and a potential 2016 presidential candidate, has a solution for the GOP's birth control problem: Make it over the counter.
"The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists announced its support last month for selling oral contraceptives over the counter without a prescription in the United States," Jindal writes in Friday's Wall Street Journal opinion section. "I agree with this opinion, which if embraced by the federal government would take contraception out of the political arena." Jindal also writes that prescription birth control drives up costs with unnecessary doctors' visits.
"Democrats have wrongly accused Republicans of being against birth control and against allowing people to use it. That's hogwash," Jindal wrote. "But Republicans do want to protect those who have religious beliefs that are opposed to contraception."
Democrats used Republicans' objections to the mandatory birth control coverage portion of Obama's health care law as a way to turn women voters against conservative candidates this election season. Their objections, Democrats argued, were part of a larger "war on women" fought by Republican lawmakers. (A "war" that worsened when conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh called law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" for testifying that she believes contraception should be covered by insurance plans.)
Republicans said they were simply worried that some employers' religious freedom would be infringed upon if their health care plans had to include contraception.