Bobby Jindal, the pro-life Louisiana governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate, has a message for Republicans: Don’t let Democrats again demagogue on the issue of contraception and birth control.
During the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney lost to pro-abortion President Barack Obama in part because the issue of Obama extensive pro-abortion record was neutralized by the Obama’s campaign and pro-abortion groups. They shifted the debate from abortion to the issue of birth control and contraception — falsely accusing Romney and pro-life candidates of a War on Women because they supposedly opposed birth control and contraception.
Today, Jindal says Republicans should make their support for both crystal clear in an effort to neutralize the issue. That could return the abortion debate to a focus on how Obama, Democrats and groups like Planned Parenthood oppose any limits on abortions — ranging from a ban on taxpayer funding of abortions to parental notification to even stopping sex-selection abortions.
“As a conservative Republican, I believe that we have been stupid to let the Democrats demagogue the contraceptives issue and pretend, during debates about health-care insurance, that Republicans are somehow against birth control. It’s a disingenuous political argument they make,” Jindal writes in a new editorial in the Wall Street Journal.
“Democrats have wrongly accused Republicans of being against birth control and against allowing people to use it. That’s hogwash,” Jindal wrote.
Jindal said contraception is “a personal matter-the government shouldn’t be in the business of banning it or requiring a woman’s employer to keep tabs on her use of it.”
The pro-life governor is adamant that, while contraception should be supported, employers should also not be forced to pay for birth control for their employees — as the Obama administration has done with its HHS mandate.
“If an insurance company or those purchasing insurance want to cover birth control, they should be free to do so. If a consumer wants to buy birth control on her own, she should be free to do so,” he wrote.
As such, Jindal says he supports an effort by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which is supporting a move to sell birth control pills over the counter.
David O’Steen, the director of the National Right to Life Committee, talked after the election about the problem of the shift of the abortion debate in the election from abortion to contraception and how it hurt pro-lifers.
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“Early on, the Obama campaign and their allies at Planned Parenthood, EMILY’s List, and NARAL sought to define the abortion issue as a “war on women” and link it to contraception and family planning. This effort was assisted by the media furor that surrounded the campaign to defund Planned Parenthood in Congress,” he wrote at LifeNews.
“Obama and other pro-abortion candidates had the luxury of having their position subjected to essentially no media scrutiny at all. Obama was not asked to explain his opposition to the bill to prohibit abortion for sex selection, or his position on late abortion after 20 weeks when the baby can feel pain, or his support for public funding of abortion or even his well documented opposition to protecting babies born alive during an abortion. All of which are positions at odds with the views of the vast majority of voters,” he wrote.