Friday, December 14, 2012

Bobby Jindal's statement about birth control not friendly to women's rights.

Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana who is famous for his support of creationist nonsense in the Louisiana school system says something that on the surface seems reasonable.  He suggests that birth control should be made an over the counter drug.

I wanted to give this guy some credit, believe me I would like to be able to say he isn't a complete loss, but lets look at the reasons he gives for suggesting that birth control should be sold without a prescription.
Republican objections to mandatory birth control coverage in health insurance coverage were a major part of Democratic messaging toward women in the 2012 election cycle. Republicans wanted an exemption to the mandate for religious organizations. Jindal argues over-the-counter sales to those over 18 years of age would make this debate irrelevant.
See, Jindal doesn't care about women's health he only cares about winning elections, whether or not this is good for women or not is irrelevant as long as it shuts down a political argument.  What should be important is a science based assessment of the risk verses the benefits of changing the law.

Every form of birth control, just like any medial treatment, have possible side effects, the risks of those side effects vary depending on other life style practices and family history of certain illnesses.  The pill, for instance, caries a small risk of blood clots.  Not a major concern for most people, but for someone with a family history of heart problems, or someone who smokes a lot it is a concern.  Traditionally doctors have been the ones to determine which form of birth control is safest for a particular woman.  There are arguments to be made for changing this, but "it will help my political party win elections" is not one of them.

It is also worth noting that this is not really going to fix his parties issues with birth control, since the mandate in the affordable health care act includes other forms of birth control than the "pill" like IUD, which is considerably more expensive, but is also more effective than the pill.  Even if the laws are changed it won't end this debate.

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