Rights group quiet on pill access issue

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: December 24, 2012

On its website, the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights has a statement declaring, “We envision a world where every woman is free to decide whether and when to have children” and “where every woman has access to the best reproductive health care available.”

In Oklahoma, that's mostly meant the group sues every time lawmakers try to boost oversight of abortion procedures, including the center's recent success overturning a law regulating the use of certain abortion-inducing drugs. Not outlawing, mind you, but simply imposing guidelines and standards for the drugs' use.

Given the group's loud opposition even to laws establishing guidelines for the use of abortion-inducing drugs, the center's silence is telling on a similar, but more impactful issue: regulations limiting women's easy access to standard birth control pills.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal recently noted in The Wall Street Journal, “Thanks to President Obama and the pro-choice lobby, women can buy the morning-after pill over the counter without a prescription, but women cannot buy oral contraceptives over the counter unless they have a prescription.”

If restrictions on abortion-inducing drugs are unconscionable, then shouldn't the center find similar restrictions on standard oral contraceptives just as noxious, especially since the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has endorsed making oral contraceptives available over the counter? The center has sued to make “emergency contraception” (which critics consider abortifacients) available over the counter, so why not do the same thing for traditional birth control pills that help women avoid pregnancy in the first place?

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