Dem Opposes GOP Lawmaker’s Plan for Over-the-Counter Birth Control

By Penny Starr | July 14, 2014 | 12:24 PM EDT

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) (AP photo)

( – Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) expressed opposition Friday to a proposed plan to allow women to buy birth control without a prescription, saying the proposal would put “more barriers between women and contraceptives.”

"I believe it would put more barriers to women's health and contraception," Udall said at a July 11 press conference, according to the Associated Press.

The plan proposed by the man challenging Udall for his Senate seat – Rep. Cory Gardener (R-Colo.) - would give women over-the-counter access to birth control, but customers would have to pay the cost charged by drug stores and other retailers for contraceptives.

At the press conference, Udall – who has co-authored a bill to reverse the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Hobby Lobby lawsuit that said some closely-held corporations cannot be forced to provide contraceptive methods they are morally opposed to, including abortion-inducing drugs – was asked about Gardner’s plan.

The AP article said that Udall cited the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as a better option for women, because under the law, birth control products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are free.

The AP sought comment on the issue from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, which benefits from the ACA as a provider of birth control.

A Planned Parenthood official in Colorado also cited the cost of over-the-counter, non-prescription birth control.

"It masquerades as a solution, but it is not one," Vicki Cowart, president of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, told the AP.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, however, has posted on its website information about how under the ACA, women might have to pay for birth control, including because insurance companies are not required to offer all forms of contraceptives.

The AP also asked Gardner’s staff about Udall’s comment.

Udall spokesman Alex Siciliano told the AP that Udall's reaction "shows he is more concerned with his own political health than women's health."

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