Analysis

Cecile Richards complains about over-the-counter birth control plan

#WhatWomenNeed abortion

Abortion advocates have long been pushing for birth control and emergency contraceptives to be sold over-the-counter. According to Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, some politicians are trying to make the birth control pill available without health insurance and over-the-counter. But rather than being excited about this, Richards has written an op-ed for CNN explaining about how bad this will be for women.

So when politicians who have otherwise embraced policies that would drag women back to the 1950s suggest making birth control available over the counter instead of covering it in insurance plans, they’re not experiencing a change of heart.

They’re suggesting something that would take us back to the days when women had to pay out-of-pocket for their prescriptions, making birth control harder to get for many women, not least women who use birth control methods that simply cannot be stocked on store shelves, like IUDs, one of the most effective (and expensive) forms of long-acting birth control.

… Let’s get one thing clear: More access to birth control is a good thing. That’s why Planned Parenthood was founded nearly 100 years ago — and it’s why a full range of women’s preventive care, including birth control, is now covered under the Affordable Care Act.

Planned Parenthood, the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology agree with virtually every other mainstream health care provider and expert in this country: Birth control should be more available. Planned Parenthood has been fighting to expand access to birth control for nearly 100 years. We support making it available over the counter, in addition to requiring insurance plans to cover it — but not instead of requiring no co-pay coverage. Women deserve both/and, not either/or.

… At Planned Parenthood, we are eager to work with anyone who has an idea that would make birth control more readily available to women. So to these politicians: Come see us when you’re really ready to talk, and let’s see if we can come up with the next great advance in women’s health.

Interestingly enough, Cecile Richards was super excited about making emergency contraceptives available over-the-counter last year, as Jill Stanek points out. So what changed? Could it possibly be that Richards realized birth control being sold over-the-counter without needing insurance would eat into her profits?

Planned Parenthood exists for one reason alone, and that is to take money. They claim that women’s health is their priority, but if birth control was truly so vital to women’s health, then why would Richards not applaud efforts that make birth control more widely available? She doesn’t care about providing birth control to women who need it. She only cares about lining her own pockets with as much cash as possible.

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