Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, widely believed to be a potential Republican candidate for president in 2016, has an op-ed in Friday's Wall Street Journal encouraging the government to permit the sale of oral contraceptives without a prescription. Here's an excerpt:
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists announced its support last month for selling oral contraceptives over the counter without a prescription in the United States. I agree with this opinion, which if embraced by the federal government would take contraception out of the political arena.
As a conservative Republican, I believe that we have been stupid to let the Democrats demagogue the contraceptives issue and pretend, during debates about health-care insurance, that Republicans are somehow against birth control. It's a disingenuous political argument they make.
As an unapologetic pro-life Republican, I also believe that every adult (18 years old and over) who wants contraception should be able to purchase it. But anyone who has a religious objection to contraception should not be forced by government health-care edicts to purchase it for others. And parents who believe, as I do, that their teenage children shouldn't be involved with sex at all do not deserve ridicule.
Let's ask the question: 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.
Addressing a largely Catholic audience Monday night at an event sponsored by the John Carroll Society in Washington, D.C., Cardinal Timothy Dolan emphasized the non-sectarian, non-partisan—catholic with a small “c”—nature of the fight for religious liberty. “It is not some far right, extremist cause,” Dolan said, but an “American human rights issue.”
Charlotte Four years ago in Denver, the group Democrats for Life hosted an event. A tiny cadre of anti-abortion Democrats assembled in a hotel conference room and were treated to a hopeful talk led by Senator Bob Casey and Representatives Lincoln Davis and Heath Shuler. The pro-life caucus was a minority in the party, they realized, but it was a crucial bloc and it would not be left behind by a President Obama, he of the purple states and the hope and change. A new era for pro-life Democrats was just around the corner.
On May 7, 2012, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), the largest organization of rabbis in the United States, approved a resolution recognizing that the Health and Human Services (HHS) regulation that mandates employers provide access to contraceptives, abortifacient drugs, and sterilizations forces many employers to “violate the injunctions of their religion.” The RCA, which represents more than 1,000 Orthodox rabbis, urged the Obama administration to amend the regulation to protect the religious liberties of all employers.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has taken a bold stand for religious freedom. In a recent statement, titled “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” the bishops call for repeal of contraception coverage mandated by the Department of Health and Human Services. The clarified position sets up a dramatic confrontation with the Obama administration—and would, if the bishops prevail, help preserve the religious liberty of all Americans.
On Friday afternoon, the Obama administration released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to announce it was proceeding as planned with its new federal mandate that abortion pills, sterilization procedures, and contraception must be provided without co-pays under virtually all health care plans.
The Obama administration’s recent decree — that, under Obamacare, Americans would no longer be free to offer or to choose new health plans that don’t include complimentary coverage of birth control, morning-after pills and the abortion drug ella — would likely lead a great many people to switch to much costlier birth control, according to a new piece published by Kaiser Health News.
Caroline May reports that "More than 2,500 evangelical and ministry leaders from a range of denominations have signed a letter to President Obama voicing their opposition to the administration’s new mandate requiring that all health insurance plans contain contraceptive coverage."
But not all religious leaders are being critical of Obama--a number are even trying to provide him with cover.