BATON ROUGE, December 14, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has proposed that oral contraceptives should be available to all women without a prescription or doctor’s examination in an op-ed that has drawn praise from Planned Parenthood and condemnation from some in the pro-life movement.
He called a new report from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), calling for oral contraceptives to be sold over-the-counter, “a common-sense call for reform.”
He writes that women only see a doctor before being prescribed birth control pills because “big government says they should” and “big pharmaceutical companies benefit from it.”
He then argued that “unfortunate aspects” of ObamaCare made contraception harder to obtain.
Jindal, who described himself as a “conservative” and “unapologetic pro-life Republican,” hoped he would “take contraception out of the political arena.”
“Every adult (18 years old and over) who wants contraception should be able to purchase it,” he wrote in an an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal Thursday night. “But anyone who has a religious objection to contraception should not be forced by government health-care edicts to purchase it for others.”
He concluded, “The latest opinion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is a common-sense call for reform that could yield a result everyone can embrace: the end of birth-control politics.”
The governor appears to restrict his endorsement to the birth control pill, which can act as an abortifacient. However, ACOG and Planned Parenthood sent a letter last Friday to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stating that “women of all ages,” including “teens,” should have “access Plan B One-Step.”
The letter states “there is no evidence that ready access to Plan B encourages risky behaviors among teens,” although repeated studies in the United States and Europe show that widespread use of "emergency contraception" increases STD rates and does nothing to reduce abortion.
ACOG and others claim their act was motivated by “the goal of lowering the rates of unintended pregnancy and reducing the number of abortions.” But a study in Spain showed that, while women using contraception increased dramatically between 1997 and 2007, the abortion rate more than doubled.
Fr. Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International, denied their idea, or Jindal’s, would benefit women, especially teens.
While he praised Jindal’s “excellent performance as governor,” he found the op-ed “very troubling.”
“Just last month, a 19-year-old girl suffered seven heart attacks after a contraceptive pill caused her to develop hundreds of these blood clots,” he said in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com. Governor Jindal “may not have heard that the World Health Organization has designated many types of hormonal contraceptives as Group-1 carcinogens given their link to cancer. He also has probably not read up on the studies which have highlighted the negative impact on the environment caused by the Pill.”
“These powerful drugs are not as safe for women or society, as the governor would like us to believe,” he said.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans quickly rebuffed Jindal’s stance. Communications Director Sarah Comiskey McDonald said, “We disagree with the governor’s opinion because, as the Catholic Church teaches, contraception is always wrong.”
Jindal, who is considered a 2016 presidential hopeful, met with GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson, a self-described “social liberal” who believes Republicans would have won if they took a “softer stance” on social issues, including abortion.
The Louisana governor’s own attempt to appear softer won mixed reviews from the abortion industry.
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Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards, who made a pitch for Republican support just after the 2012 election, thanked the governor for his “thoughtful contributions to the conversation on women’s health.”
However, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan called his article “another case of trying to convince that public that anti-choice politicians are really not as extreme as their voting records suggest.”
“I sincerely hope Gov. Jindal will rethink his position,” Fr. Boquet said.
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