Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a stunning admission this week and sided with Republicans on a critical issue.
Over the weekend, Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to voice her support for over-the-counter access to birth control.
Ironically enough, Republicans have been making this argument for quite awhile. The Democrats and Planned Parenthood are the ones who oppose doing this.
“Psst! 🗣 Birth control should be over-the-counter, pass it on,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
Psst! 🗣 Birth control should be over-the-counter, pass it on.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 7, 2019
Current law in the U.S. requires the Food and Drug Administration to regulate access to birth control pills, meaning women must get a prescription from a physician to access hormonal contraceptive pills.
But more importantly, it’s certainly amazing to see that Ocasio-Cortez, whether she realized it or not, actually agreed with Republicans over her own party on the issue.
As the Washington Examiner notes, increased access to birth control has a direct correlation with decreased abortion rates. This detail has encouraged many conservatives to get on board with increasing access to the pill.
And, there are actually several Republican lawmakers who have been making this same argument for years.
Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced legislation that would force the FDA to fast-track the process to reclassify contraceptives as over-the-counter for women over the age of 18.
In a statement about her bill, Ernst wrote:
By allowing women to purchase birth control over-the-counter and without the requirement of a prescription, we are giving them more options, with fewer delays and without unnecessary hurdles. It’s critical we remove barriers for women in Iowa and across the country to give them the best access to care possible.
The legislation also repeals provisions in current law, under the Affordable Care Act, that affect the use of tax-advantaged savings accounts for health care expenses, such as health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs), and medical savings accounts (MSAs). In particular, the legislation repeals the ACA’s prohibition on using funds from these accounts to purchase [over-the-counter] medications. It also repeals the $2,500 annual cap on contributions toward these types of accounts imposed by the ACA.
As Ernst noted, Democrats have been refusing to help pass any measures on this because it would deliver a big financial hit to places like Planned Parenthood.
Several prominent conservatives on Twitter also reminded Ocasio-Cortez of this:
Republicans proposed this. Planned Parenthood said no. 🗣 https://t.co/F4bV6XDHpq
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) June 7, 2019
Which party has promoted this very idea and which has blocked every attempt?
That's the secret message here. 😉 https://t.co/52ZCdQ9Ne3
— Chad Felix Greene (@chadfelixg) June 7, 2019
Oh, #PlannedParenthood is gonna love this. She's advocating a plan that would take away one revenue source (by making BC free) while rendering the bigger revenue source (abortion) unnecessary. https://t.co/aVbDYz4ZJf
— Virginia Kruta (@VAKruta) June 7, 2019
This is something congressional Republicans have pushed for and congressional Democrats have obstructed https://t.co/uJZ1NikkcX
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) June 7, 2019
If Ocasio-Cortez got the ball rolling on a bipartisan measure on the over-the-counter change, it could lead to other bills getting passed that go against Planned Parenthood.
While this may not seem like a big deal or top issue, it does show that when lawmakers put politics aside, they can work together on things that help the American people.
Ocasio-Cortez may be a hardcore socialist, but if she’s willing to work with Republicans on important issues, that is a good thing.