By Justin Sink - 12/14/12 12:36 PM EST
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said in an op-ed published Friday in theWall Street Journal that Republicans should back over-the-counter birth control, a move he argues would "take contraception out of the political arena."
Jindal, who is widely believed to be interested in a 2016 presidential run, argued that the GOP has been "stupid to let the Democrats demagogue the contraceptives issue and pretend, during debates about health-care insurance, that Republicans are somehow against birth control."
He goes on to argue that over-the-counter sale of birth control is actually the conservative solution, saying that if women could choose contraception rather than having it prescribed by doctors, costs would be driven down by free-market competition.
The governor also emphasizes that while he is "an unapologetic pro-life Republican," that he believes every adult "who wants contraception should be able to purchase it."
In November's election, President Obama dominated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney among women at the polls. The president won two-thirds of single female voters and 55 percent of women overall.
Obama's margin among women was partially attributed to his administration's push to force insurance companies to provide birth control with no copay. Many Republicans objected to the move, arguing that it forced religious employers like churches and hospitals to subsidize contraception that ran against their religious beliefs.
In his op-ed Friday, Jindal argues that providing over-the-counter access would allow Republicans to signal their support for contraception access without forcing employers to violate their religious beliefs.
"It's time to stop government from dividing people or insulting deeply held religious beliefs, and return the country to the path that has always made it great—one where Americans respect and value their fellow citizens, no matter their creed," Jindal wrote.