It is time for Donald Trump to lead the Republican Party in a new direction, yet again, by giving women access to birth control over-the-counter. Not only is the prescription requirement outdated, it also pushes many young women into the arms of Planned Parenthood, which becomes their primary, taxpayer-subsidized provider of birth-control prescriptions and pills.
There is no downside for Republicans on this front. The benefits of increased access to birth-control will immediately be felt by women across the country, who will have Republicans to thank. Planned Parenthood will have one of their most potent rhetorical pillars stripped from them, no longer being able to claim that birth control prescriptions constitute 34% of their services (and, thus, that abortion only constitutes 3%). Moreover, Democrats will no longer be able to claim to be on the leading edge of "reproductive rights."
Democrats will have no choice but to oppose the Republican measure, and will rely on old arguments once peddled by Fox News about the health risks involved in giving women greater access to birth control pills. By pushing the idea that women are not capable of properly assessing the risks associated with birth control, the Democrats would likely alienate their own base by seeming to infantilize women.
And there is yet another benefit. Once birth control is universally available over-the-counter, Democrats will look awfully silly insisting that Catholic organizations include it in their health insurance plans.
This is a Win-Win-Win-Win for Republicans, and it could change electoral politics forever. Someone please get this idea in front of Trump before the November elections.