Oregon just enacted a law allow contraception to be available over the counter.
As we recently reported, the state of Oregon will become the first state in the union to allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control pills to women rather than require a prescription, and California is expected to file suit — but is this actually part of a sneaky plot by Republicans in the war over birth control? Some on the left say that’s just what’s happening nationwide.
The new law, which goes into effect this year, means that women don’t have to get a doctor to sign off on birth control pills, although they are encouraged to seek regular preventative health guidance from a physician.
After years and many battles over birth control and whether pharmacists should be allowed to refuse to sell birth control to women, many Republican candidates have started supporting over-the-counter access to birth control pills, and this new Oregon law was even co-sponsored by a Republican.
But some on the left say that this bill is not all it seems. While over the counter pills are good in the sense that oral contraceptives really don’t need a prescription, and this law would make them much more accessible and much more likely to be used, there’s one very big catch: the cost, according to a Mother Jones report.
Republicans aren’t doing this to benefit the women, some Democrats are saying, but are instead using this as an opportunity to shove all the costs onto women directly. Under the Affordable Care Act, the pill would count as preventative care and thus insurance would cover them without any out-of-pocket expenses.
The concern is that by making contraception and over-the-counter option, it means the ACA would no longer have to cover it as preventative care.
The fight erupted in Congress earlier this year, with Democratic senators sparring with their Republican counterparts over a bill on make contraception available over the counter. Democrats believe that Republicans are making a nationwide effort to make contraception more expensive, and that it is a deliberate attempt to undermine Obamacare.