BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has voiced his support for over-the-counter access to birth control, a position that Church representatives say goes against Catholic teaching on contraception.
“The Archdiocese of New Orleans disagrees with Governor Jindal’s stance on this issue, as the use of birth control and contraceptives are against Catholic Church teaching,” Sarah Comiskey McDonald, communications director for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, told EWTN News Dec. 14.
Robert Tasman, associate director of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops, also echoed the archdiocese’s statement.
Jindal, a Catholic, argued in a Dec. 13 editorial for The Wall Street Journal that allowing access to artificial birth control without a prescription would remove politics from contraception while also protecting the rights of individuals who are morally opposed to paying for its coverage.
In his opinion piece, Jindal cited a recommendation from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that says birth control should be available over the counter, arguing that unintended pregnancies are a “major public-health problem” in the U.S.
Jindal said the two reasons women must visit a doctor for a prescription for a drug that “research says is safe” is “because big government says they should” and “because big pharmaceutical companies benefit from it.”
"It's time to put purchasing power back in the hands of consumers — not employers, not pharmaceutical companies and not bureaucrats in Washington," he said.
He added that this arrangement would ensure that “anyone who has a religious objection to contraception” would not be “forced by government health-care edicts to purchase it for others.”
The governor, who has been mentioned as a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, said making birth control available over the counter to adults would “take contraception out of the political arena” as well as help cut health-care costs.
He criticized his party, saying that it is “stupid to let the Democrats demagogue the contraceptives issue.”
While he described himself as “an unapologetic pro-life Republican” the governor said that “everyone who wants contraception should be able to purchase it.”
In his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI categorically rejected contraception as immoral. The encyclical specifies that it is morally unacceptable to engage in “any action which either before, at the moment of or after sexual intercourse is specifically intended to prevent procreation — whether as an end or as a means” (14).
Jindal’s press office did not respond to inquiries from EWTN News.