Wednesday, May 4, 2022

FLASHBACK: GOP Senators Called for Over-the-Counter Birth Control in New Bill

Source: The Hill

Published: May 26, 2015

By: Sarah Ferris

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) is leading a new push to allow women to buy birth control without a prescription, hoping to deliver on one of the biggest promises of his freshman Senate campaign last year.

A half-dozen Senate Republicans have signed onto Gardner’s bill, which would reward drug companies that sell contraceptives to file an application to sell their products over the counter.

{mosads}“Most other drugs with such a long history of safe and routine use are available for purchase over the counter, and contraception should join them,” Gardner wrote in a statement. He said his bill would benefit women in rural and underserved areas, while also saving people money and time by “increasing competition and availability.”

The bill would allow contraception drugs to be given priority review by the Food and Drug Administration to be considered for an over-the-counter switch. The companies would also have their filing fee waived.


The Colorado Republican’s push to make birth control available over-the-counter is not winning him more allies among women’s reproductive health groups, however.

Groups like Planned Parenthood have opposed the idea, which they argue could drive up contraception prices.

The group has pointed to ObamaCare’s contraception mandate — requiring insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved forms of birth control — and said that insurers may no longer cover the medication if it’s not prescribed by a doctor.

Dr. Mark DeFrancesco, president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, released a statement condemning Gardner’s bill shortly after he introduced it.

“Their bill does not do much to increase access to contraception — and, in fact, includes details that will take a giant step in the wrong direction,” DeFrancesco wrote.

“We cannot support a plan that creates one route to access at the expense of another, more helpful route,” he said.

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