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Ted Cruz wants to work with Ocasio-Cortez on birth control access

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Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday asked to work with progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to make birth control available over-the-counter to women in the US.

“A simple, clean bill making birth control available over the counter. Interested?” Cruz wrote, retweeting Ocasio-Cortez.

The New York Democrat advocated for the move last week.

“Psst! Birth control should be over-the-counter, pass it on,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “(It should be free, too – like in the UK!)”

Cruz also reminded his followers that he and Ocasio-Cortez have already agreed to work together on legislation that would ban members of Congress from becoming lobbyists after serving in government.

Read more: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lashes out at Axios and Politico co-founder after he calls her ‘the Donald Trump of the Democratic Party’

Those who advocate for making oral contraceptives available without a doctor’s prescription argue the change would expand access to the pill, make the medication cheaper, and ultimately reduce unintended pregnancy.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists came out in support of making birth control available over-the-counter in 2012. And a handful of US states have already passed laws allowing pharmacists to prescribe oral contraceptives.

But physicians and other healthcare providers are divided over whether it’s safe to make the pill available without a healthcare provider’s consultation.

A host of Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have endorsed over-the-counter birth control. Many Democrats and leading reproductive rights groups fear the GOP’s push would increase the cost of birth control by removing it from insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, which made the pill free.

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