Bobby Jindal has people talking today, thanks to an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in which he endorses making birth control available over-the-counter to anyone 18 or older. "We have been stupid to let the Democrats demagogue the contraceptives issue and pretend … that Republicans are somehow against birth control," he writes. "That's hogwash." Jindal couches his argument in classic conservative language. Why do women need a prescription to buy the pill? "Because big government says they should," he writes.
He also argues that an over-the-counter approach would obviate the need for employers with religious objections to provide it and foster competition that would drive down the price of birth control. "It's time to put purchasing power back in the hands of consumers—not employers, not pharmaceutical companies, and not bureaucrats in Washington." The big question: Will the right embrace Jindal's argument? New York points out that several conservative groups decried the idea when a major OB/GYN group proposed it last month, with one calling it "wrongheaded and disturbing."