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There is no easier, simpler, more efficient way to ensure that people have access to the products and services they want than to leave them to exchange money for them, unencumbered by mandates, quotas, or subsidies. One might argue that doing so is insufficient toward one’s aims — which usually begs the question of who exactly you think you are to get to decide such things — but it’s the logical starting point for all but the most committed of petty totalitarians.
Unfortunately, the dominant strain of leftist feminism is exactly that. For further evidence, look no further than Elizabeth Nolan Brown’s latest article on leftist opposition to a Republican-sponsored proposal to streamline the approval process for over-the-counter oral contraceptives:
The “Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act,” co-sponsored by Sen. [Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) and] Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), would encourage birth-control pill manufacturers to file an application with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to sell products over-the-counter (OTC), as well as repeal the Affordable Care Act’s restriction on using health savings accounts to buy non-prescription medication. The full text of the proposal has not yet been released.
That hasn’t stopped some from flipping out about the bill, however. “This bill is a sham and an insult to women,” said Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards in a statement. “It would give women fewer birth control options and force women to pay twice for their birth control.”
Jezebel blogger Stassa Edwards admits that “allowing [the pill] to be sold OTC would be a sizeable step in” the direction of expanding access. But “it seems like Gardner and Ayotte’s proposal is a sneaky way to effectively end Obamacare’s mandatory contraception coverage,” she warns. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has previously advocated for OTC oral contraception. But ACOG President Mark S. DeFrancesco cautioned against Gardner and Ayotte’s bill, stating that “instead of improving access, this bill would actually make more women have to pay for their birth control, and for some women, the cost would be prohibitive.
I commend the whole thing to you, particularly Brown’s points about leftist obfuscations regarding the word “access” and how — even from the perspective of someone who buys into that language — this bill shouldn’t precipitate a hailstorm of doom and gloom. Nothing in it would prevent manufacturers from keeping their wares regulated through prescription, which means they would continue to be fully subsidized through ObamaCare. This bill would merely create a market-friendly option to supplement the existing regulatory mandate (and if you’re wondering, yes it broke my free-marketeer heart to write that sentence).
The inescapable conclusion — observation, really — of this is that leftist feminists care far less about the welfare and choices available to women than about their ability to impose their preferences on others. Best of all, most people think they’re wrong on this.
I’m chalking this one up to another Easy Political Win