OB-GYN Org Warns: Don’t Use Contraception As ‘Political Tool’

Shutterstock image of birth control pills. Photo credit: varin jindawong
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September 9, 2014 3:14 p.m.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on Tuesday released a statement denouncing candidates or election officials who call for making birth control available over-the-counter as a “political tool.”

In the statement, ACOG president John C. Jennings stressed that the organization supports making oral contraceptives available over-the-counter and that this kind of access should be part of a broader increase of “affordable, reliable access for American women to the contraceptives they need.”

“We feel strongly, however, that OTC access to contraceptives should be part of a broader dialogue about improving women’s health care, preventing unintended pregnancies, and increasing use of contraception, including long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). Over the counter access should not be used as a political tool by candidates or by elected officials.”

The statement did not directly name any of those candidates or elected officials but it does follow four Republican Senate candidates — Rep. Cory Gardner (CO), Rob Maness (LA), House Speaker Thom Tillis (NC) and Mike McFadden (MN)— voicing their support for over the counter birth control.

“Of course, cost continues to be a major factor in a woman’s consistent use of contraception, and many women simply cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs associated with contraceptives, OTC or not. That’s why ACOG strongly supports the Affordable Care Act provision that mandates insurance coverage of birth control, as well as other preventive services, without cost-sharing for the patient.”

Read the full statement here.

Shutterstock / varin jindawong

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