The Latest Warning Signs Come from Maryland, but Will Affect Every State
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2018-03-07

We reported in our last Wednesday STOPP Report that Planned Parenthood issued a press release in February that stated in part: “Today, Planned Parenthood, in conjunction with state lawmakers, advocates, and fellow advocacy groups, unveiled a sweeping plan to push initiatives that expand access to reproductive health care [abortion] in all 50 states.”

In response to this new thrust by Planned Parenthood, STOPP has begun a new project to monitor initiatives at the state level that present a real threat to the lives of preborn children and young people.

Last issue we warned about a bill passed in California that requires two state universities there to make the abortion pill available on all campus health centers for any student who asks for it. We expect that Planned Parenthood will push this kind of law in every state to greatly expand the number of abortion locations in the United States.

In the last two weeks, we became aware of another legislative initiative that has the potential to spread injury, death, and destruction across our country. This time, what we are seeing is a bill being pushed by Planned Parenthood in the state of Maryland. Planned Parenthood is actively supporting this bill (Senate Bill 686) that will require insurance companies to “provide coverage without a prescription for all contraceptive drugs AND DEVICES approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and available [by prescription and] over the counter,” and “may not apply a copayment or coinsurance requirement for a contraceptive drug OR DEVICE dispensed without a prescription . . . that exceeds the copayment or coinsurance requirement for the contraceptive drug OR DEVICE dispensed under a prescription.”

As most of you are aware, insurance companies that provide drug coverage normally do so only for prescription drugs. Even the popular Flex Spending Programs offered by many corporations changed their rules years ago to only pay for prescription drugs. They will not pay for over the counter drugs.

This bill will change that and will force insurance companies to pay for OTC drugs—but not all OTC drugs. Only the so-called “contraceptive drugs and devices”—the kind Planned Parenthood sells and pushes. Most of the reporting in the news media about this bill concerns the fact that the bill would force insurance companies to pay for condoms or other barrier methods. The rhetoric is that this is no big deal. What is often mentioned in passing is that it will also force insurance companies to pay for Plan B—which is also an OTC drug.

We all know that Plan B is an abortifacient. Many of the legal cases about Obamacare’s contraceptive coverage mandate were about Plan B and the fact that it kills babies in the womb. So this seemingly innocuous bill requiring insurance companies to pay for OTC contraceptive drugs and devices takes on a much greater urgency when we understand that these companies will be forced to pay for drugs that cause abortion.

There has been a significant trend in the last decade for the Food and Drug Administration to make many drugs available OTC. You can probably name a number of drugs your family takes that have gone from prescription to OTC in the last decade. There are many current prescription drugs (Mifepristone, oral contraceptives, IUDs, etc.) that could easily become OTC in the next few years. For decades, Planned Parenthood has pushed the FDA to make the birth control pill OTC—just as it is in Mexico. When the FDA approved Plan B as over the counter, it took away most of its arguments to keep the birth control pill a prescription drug, since Plan B is essentially a mega-dose of the pill.

This bill sets the stage to force insurance companies to pay for more and more abortion-causing OTC drugs. We expect to see similar bills introduced across America.

We encourage all of our readers in Maryland and across the country to fight vigorously against these bills. Once again, the lives of future generations will depend on it.