THE BLOG
09/30/2014 11:11 pm ET Updated Nov 30, 2014

Gardner Claims Support From Nonexistent Group

In a post on RhRealityCheck.org Tuesday, I reported that an advertisement produced by senatorial candidate Cory Gardner refers to the "American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists" as a backer of his proposal to sell contraception over-the-counter. But this group apparently does not exist.

The advertisement states:

Supported by the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Cory's proposal would make oral contraception: Less expensive -- about the price of Aspirin; More convenient -- helping women obtain The Pill on their own schedule without an appointment; More accessible -- ensures women in underserved urban and rural areas have greater ability to obtain The Pill. [BigMedia emphasis]

The RH Reality Check post states:

A Google search for the "American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists" returns references to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

After seeing the Gardner mailer, Kate Connors, ACOG Director of Media Relations, told RH Reality Check via email, "For all I know, there is an AAOG out there, somewhere, but it has certainly never come to my attention. I dare say that the mailer's reference to it is an error."

Connors said that it was also an "error" for Gardner to suggest that "we have supported his proposal."

Gardner has previously cited "a committee" ACOG as supporting over-the-counter birth control sales.

A September 9 ACOG statement emphasizes over-the-counter sale of contraception is a long-term goal, not a proposal it supports currently.

Politifact.com, in a September 8 analysis, judged Gardner's claim about the pill being cheaper if sold over-the-counter as "mostly false," in light of various uncertainties as well as the fact that, under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies cannot charge policy holders a co-pay for preventive health care, including contraception. So, for most women, contraception is currently free.