Just when insurance companies are finally required to treat birth control like every other form of preventive health care and cover it at no cost, Senate candidate Mike McFadden wants to take that away. Worse – he’s disguising his efforts as “pro-woman” and “pro-birth control.” But women voters in Minnesota won’t be fooled.
Mike McFadden’s position on women’s health has been evident from day one. He opposes the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. He opposes the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) mandate that birth control be covered with no co-pays. He applauded the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, which allows a woman’s boss to decide whether she gets coverage for her birth control, based on religious views.
So, why is he suddenly proposing that contraceptives should be available over-the-counter (OTC)?
Because he’s trying to win an election that his pollsters tell him can’t be won without the support of women.
Make no mistake, allowing birth control to be sold over the counter is not a quick fix – and McFadden knows it. This is nothing more than a political stunt being carried out among several GOP candidates for Senate across the country – and Minnesotans aren’t going to fall for it.
Free now, birth control’s cost will be borne by women
Right now, 48 million women get birth control under the health care law and, as a result, they are saving $483 million a year. But, making birth control available OTC will prompt insurance companies to discontinue coverage – since most don’t cover any OTC drugs (just like Tylenol or Claritin). And guess who will be stuck with the bill? Women will.
From day one, McFadden has aligned himself with the most fervent opponents of women’s health in his party; politicians who have waged an unprecedented war on women. He has shown that he cannot be trusted on this issue.
Planned Parenthood supports every sincere effort to expand women’s access to the health care they need, but we aren’t fooled by McFadden’s empty proposal. Women throughout our state won’t be either.
Sarah Stoesz is the president of the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota action fund.
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