The GOP’s Latest Attempt to Fool Women Won’t Work
But now, a few GOPers have advanced a clever counter-narrative. Recently, four Republican candidates in tough Senate races—Cory Garner in Colorado, Ed Gillespie in Virginia, Mike McFadden in Minnesota, and Thom Tillis in North Carolina—in effect tried to declare to voters, “We support birth control so much we want women to be able to get it over-the-counter!” Sounds great. Especially coming from Republicans. If only it were true.
Reproductive health advocates agree that making birth control available over the counter is a good idea if paired with other essential reforms such as ensuring that insurance plans will cover birth control without a prescription. Without these reforms, say advocates, the reality is that access to contraception wouldn’t really expand and in fact would likely be reduced.
Instead, these and other Republicans are pursuing the sort of de-forms and policy reversals that will make birth control less accessible to millions of American women if offered solely over-the-counter. After all, health insurance companies rarely cover the cost of over-the-counter medicines. Over-the-counter contraception would only expand access if it were still covered by insurance as part of a strategy to expand women’s contraceptive choices. But Republicans are trying to roll back or repeal Obamacare, including the law’s mandate that the cost of birth control be covered by employer-provided insurance.