Let it never be said that Republicans are fighting a Forever War on contraception. In several states, Republican candidates are calling for more birth control—on demand and sold right next to the Tylenol.
"The pill ought to be available over the counter, round the clock, without a prescription,” says Colorado’s Cory Gardner in a new campaign ad.
For the GOP candidates supporting this measure, it’s a way to woo women voters while sidestepping Obamacare’s mandate that companies cover birth control on their health-insurance plans—and that health plans offer the pills without a co-pay. One way to please both women and conservative-leaning corporations is to simply make Ortho Tri-Cyclen more like Claritin: You want it, you go to Walgreens and get it.
At first this sounded, to me, like the worst idea ever. Almost every woman I know who’s on the pill has experienced side effects so severe they almost make baby-free sex not seem worth the hassle. Though all so-called “combination” pills contain both a synthetic estrogen and a synthetic progesterone, the ratio and type of each hormone vary among the different pill brands. Women’s health sites beckon women to “find the right one for you.”
But the quest for the “right” pill can sometimes turn into choose-your-own adventure novel where the only possible denouements are things like “inexplicable crying in meetings” or “cramps that feel like fiery mount Orodruin has relocated to your uterus.” Yaz might help with PMS, for example, but in some women it actually makes it worse. Lybrel makes it so you only have your period once a year, but it makes the uterine lining so thin that it “can become unstable and shed at random.” Surprise!