birth control

Republican Governor Comes Out in Favor of OTC Birth Control

On Thursday Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, published an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal (behind a pay wall, so you might have to Google it), arguing in favor of over-the-counter contraception. While full of pretty typical anti-Obama rhetoric, Jindal goes further than many in the GOP seem willing to go:

Why do women have to go see a doctor before they buy birth control? There are two answers. First, 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. Second, because big pharmaceutical companies benefit from it. They know that prices would be driven down if the companies had to compete in the marketplace once their contraceptives were sold over the counter.

I don’t agree with Jindal’s assessment that making contraceptives available OTC would “take contraception out of the political arena”, but it would certainly help. More importantly, it would—duh—make contraception more readily available, and any pro-life person should be in favor of that.

Via the Feminist Majority Foundation Blog.

Pediatricians: Prescribe Emergency Contraception to Teens in Advance

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that pediatricians begin prescribing Plan B ahead of time (where by “time” I mean “intercourse”) to women under 17, due to the difficulties teen girls often face in obtaining the drug:

A 2010 analysis of seven randomized studies of emergency contraception found that having a morning-after prescription in hand did not increase teens’ sexual activity or decrease use of standard contraceptives but did increase use of the pill and shorten the time before a teenager used it after sex.

I know I say this nearly every time I mention Plan B, but it does not cause abortions or prevent implantation.

California RNs May Now Dispense Birth Control

The law allows registered nurses to dispense hormonal contraceptives, including the pill. By allowing RNs to deliver such care—which is within their skills and training—doctors and nurse practitioners may be freed up to focus on more complex patient visits. Thus, the law promises both to increase women’s access to reliable contraceptives and reduce the costs of delivering that care.

Good move, especially considering this fact:

A public dollar invested in contraception saves roughly $4 in Medicaid expenditures—or $5.1 billion in 2008.

I wish people spent more time examining the nationwide economic ramifications of social policy.