On an episode of The Dr. Oz Show airing today, Donald Trump directly contradicted the GOP’s draconian 2016 platform by expressing that women should be able to get birth control without a prescription, continuing what appears to be a somewhat frantic last-minute attempt to improve his poor standing with women.
The Associated Press reports:
Speaking on an episode of “The Dr. Oz Show” airing Thursday, the Republican nominee suggested that, for many women, obtaining a prescription can be challenging.
“I would say it should not be prescription,” he told the audience, adding that many women “just aren’t in a position to go get a prescription.”
Just three states—California, Oregon, and Washington—currently have laws in place that allow women to obtain self-administered contraceptives from a pharmacist. According to the Guttmacher Institute, “OTC oral contraceptives would represent an important advancement and complement to other strategies to enhance women’s access to the full range of contraceptive methods, but is insufficient as a stand-alone strategy and would be a poor replacement for insurance coverage of contraceptives.”
Republicans have gone down this route before—Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Sen. Cory Garnder (R-CO) introduced over-the-counter contraception legislation in 2015, which was opposed by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards called it a “sham bill” that would force women to pay out of pocket for birth control, effectively tightening restrictions on access.
As of 2011, Trump opposes abortion rights, and in March was very briefly of the position that women who get abortions should receive “some form of punishment.” His views on contraception have been less clear. Although he’s emphasized that Planned Parenthood should not be funded by the government, he also said in March that the organization has done “very good work for millions of women.”
None of it really makes sense, which is, of course, what we’ve come to expect.