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Wait, what? Planned Parenthood opposes over-the-counter birth control proposal

Wait, what? Planned Parenthood opposes over-the-counter birth control proposal

Planned Parenthood isn’t protecting women. It’s protecting its own revenue stream and Democrats.

Last week, Planned Parenthood announced its opposition to Republican proposals to make contraceptives available as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

Let me paraphrase Planned Parenthood’s three points of opposition:

1) The expanded access to birth control is being offered by Republicans. Republicans hate women. Ergo, vote for Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO).

Planned Parenthood claims that GOP efforts to expand birth control access is “an empty gesture,” because (get ready for non sequiturs) Republicans want to repeal Obamacare and support the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom.

The Washington Examiner notes that “A number of Republican Senate candidates have backed over-the-counter birth control in races this year, including Cory Gardner in Colorado, Thom Tillis in North Carolina, Ed Gillespie in Virginia, Mike McFadden in Minnesota.”

What the leading abortion provider’s press release does not mention is that OTC contraceptives would free many women from having to go to (and pay) its offices to get a prescription for the drugs. If birth control pills were easy to get over-the-counter, Planned Parenthood would lose a tremendous revenue stream. It benefits when the government forces women to go to its prescription-writing centers. It benefits by restricting a woman’s access to birth control.

By Planned Parenthood’s own 2012 statistics, 34 percent of its revenue comes from “contraception” services, 37.9 percent of which are “oral” contraceptives. That’s 13 percent of its annual take that could vanish if birth control pills were sold next to aspirin and antacids.

Its 2013 annual report shows Planned Parenthood took in $1.2 billion dollars, so it stands to lose $156 million a year if GOP proposals gain ground.

2) The Republicans plan to make birth control cheaply and easily available to all women on store shelves everywhere. But Republicans do not plan to fill store aisles with IUDs and other contraceptive methods that require a medical procedure. Therefore, no birth control (except the already available condoms, spermicides and “Plan B” pills) should ever be sold OTC.

This is like claiming that because grocery stores can’t offer open heart surgery in the pharmacy aisle, they shouldn’t be able to sell aspirin.

Planned Parenthood is afraid that if birth control pills are put outside of the pharmacist’s cupboard, then insurance companies won’t have to cover them with no co-pay, and therefore somehow any medically provided contraception would also not be covered.

But there’s no one pushing for that. Instead of allowing tens of millions of women to easily obtain contraception, Planned Parenthood wants to ensure it remains the gatekeeper, and restrict a woman’s access to birth control.

3) Since OTC drugs don’t require a prescription, some women may pay for their own birth control instead of having an insurance company do it. Therefore, no women should be able to have access to OTC birth control pills.

This is comparable to arguing that because Nexium is now available as an OTC drug (at a significantly reduced price), I can’t get a prescription for it and have the insurance company pay. That’s not true.

Granted, the insurance company may prefer that I buy it for myself off the shelf, but while insurance companies may change their formularies for prescription coverage all the time without much public clamor, there’s no way they can change their coverage of birth control pills without clothes-rending and wailing from groups like Planned Parenthood and government intervention from HHS.

Note that it was the Democrats in their design of Obamacare that intentionally stripped out all coverage under Health Savings Accounts of over-the-counter drugs unless they were accompanied by prescription. Seems like someone was trying to protect a few prescription writers’ cash cows.

Planned Parenthood also sides with pharmaceutical companies as it notes in underlined text in their press release: “there is not a single manufacturer that has submitted an application to the FDA to [sell its product over-the-counter].

That same press release says, “In 2013, 56 percent of women paid no out-of-pocket costs for prescription birth control, up from 14 percent in 2012.” This means that 44 percent of women did pay out-of-pocket costs. At the very least, those 44 percent are being needlessly inconvenienced by OTC access opponents such as Planned Parenthood.

All in all, the fears that Planned Parenthood expressed in their effort to stop the Republican plan to give women greater access to contraception belie its true agenda: protecting Democrats, prescription writers, and a $156 million pot of birth control pills.

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Comments

It’s a beautiful thing when the Republicans (finally) figure out how to play the PR game.

I have had some dealing with pharmaceutical companies, and I know for a fact that the decision of whether to offer a drug for prescription or over-the-counter is heavily influenced by economic considerations.

VetHusbandFather | September 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm

“This is comparable to arguing that because Nexium is now available as an OTC drug (at a significantly reduced price), I can’t get a prescription for it and have the insurance company pay. That’s not true.”

In my opinion this right here destroys their whole arguement. If they are already forcing insurers to cover contraceptives through ACA, than what would it hurt to additionally make them available over the counter? Even with the ACA in place, there are still people in this country who are not covered. Do those people not also deserve access to affordable contraceptives?

    PP doesn’t want more women having easy access to birth control pills because that means more women using birth control pills, which means fewer women coming to PP to get abortions (which is a big source of income for PP).

Democrats and lefties are Dorothy, the Tin Man, and the gang, standing in the great hall. The curtain has been pulled back, and they have a choice: keep up the charade or face the facts?

So far, the charade has proven more attractive. These people aren’t right.

PaaaLEZZZZ…

PP is not PRIMARILY concerned with wimmins.

It IS…like all Collectivist organs…PRIMARILY concerned with continuing power.

It is ALLLLLLLLLlllllll about control. None of the organelles of the Collective will EVER counter that prime directive.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Ragspierre. | September 10, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    and plus…concerned with raking in obsence millions of dollars they can STUFF in their own back……pockets!

    civil truth in reply to Ragspierre. | September 10, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Collectivist organs

    I like that, with perhaps a bit of rephrasing: “All your organs belong to the Collective“.

    That’s where we’re heading, and if you don’t agree with the how the Collective wants you to use your organs, then they’ll just have to take charge of your body.

“Access” in Dem-speak not only means “someone else pays for it” (or so you think), it also means “you can’t have it until you come to us and we’ll dole it out as we see fit.”

That latter is what Dems did to the individual insurance market. They wanted to make it much harder for people to buy insurance with their own resources.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Radegunda. | September 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Radegunda, that sounds like slavery to me.

    “Poor is the man (or woman) whose pleasure depends on another” or has to depend on another for anything!

    Just ask the First Nations how well the Feds have treated them through history and on their reservations.

I appreciate the spirit of an intiative like this, but I have to disagree a little bit here on this method.

Birth control, even the oral forms, are pretty powerful drugs. I wouldn’t want prednisone or androgel or any other steroid to be over the counter because of potential for abuse or unintentional misuse. The side effects of birth control are not well understood for the long-term either. Additionally, some women that are prone to certain forms of breast cancer should not take oral estrogens.

    The side effects of birth control are not well understood for the long-term either.
    ____________________

    That is true whether the woman is getting her birth control pills through a doctor, or OTC.

    VetHusbandFather in reply to healthguyfsu. | September 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    This is the arguement that PP should really be focusing on if they have legitimate concerns, instead of ‘Repubs hate women’ and other junk arguements. But I would counter, could we not put some controls on it at the pharmacy level as we do with other OTC medications? I mean just because it’s sold OTC doesn’t mean we have to have it sitting on the shelf for unltimited consumption. I don’t know much about medicine/pharma so feel free to tell me if I have my head in my hindquarters here.

      healthguyfsu in reply to VetHusbandFather. | September 10, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      I appreciate your thinking…for controlling massive abuse like with sudafed for cooking meth.

      Thing is, though, steroid hormones are potent at very small doses, so it doesn’t take much extra to cause side effects.

      Additionally, some of the protective health measures may include mammograms and full family history under a doctor’s care…pharmacies aren’t really accountable for evaluating that kind of stuff.

      I do agree with the sentiment above that the venomous hiss reaction of PP shows that they are only concerned with reacting without thought to their targeted enemy rather than actually considering careful, logical reasons why this might not be a good idea.

        LibraryGryffon in reply to healthguyfsu. | September 11, 2014 at 11:30 am

        It’s not only that those with predispositions to certain forms of cancer who shouldn’t take BCP. Any one with a clotting factor disorder also has to be careful. We found out that I have Factor V Leiden when I had a branch retinal vein occlusion 20 years younger than any other patient my ophthalmologist had ever had except for one. And in both cases we were women on BCPs. Thankfully it was far enough out it didn’t damage my vision. But it could have killed me if the clot had been in my heart or lungs. Needless to say, I stopped taking the pill.

        And yes, that PP doesn’t bring up any of the actual health concerns with these medications shows that they really don’t give a damn about “women’s health” but simply see a revenue stream drying up.

    Given that PP actively supports the equivalent of a Gosnell Clinic on every street-corner in the world, I’m not thinking they are really too concerned about the long-term effects of anything but their cash flow.

Democratically leveraged, perpetually pregnant, taxable commodities. Look at you now, baby! Oh, that’s right. You never “were”. Baby, that is. The false myth of spontaneous conception has relieved your “burden”. Good luck!

Make life, not abortion. As for the Dodo generation, there are illegal aliens for that.

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