Posted: April 22, 2016 Contributor: administrator

California Joins Oregon in Allowing OTC Birth Control Pills

California is celebrating another victory for women with better birth control access! Last week the state enacted a law originally passed in 2013, allowing women to get certain birth control pills after a consultation with a pharmacist. By removing the previously required trip to the doctor, we can hope to see more women using birth control as a whole. This, in turn, results in fewer unplanned pregnancies as well as reduced abortion numbers.

What kinds of birth control are included?

All self-administered forms of birth control including the patch, pill, injections and vaginal rings are included in this law. Like any law dealing with reproductive health, it has been met with anger by pro-life groups. They believe that now teenage girls will more easily have access to contraceptives. If you have trouble following this logic, you are not alone.

Better access leads to better family planning

We have seen that areas with better access to birth control typically have fewer unplanned pregnancies and therefore fewer abortions. It seems that pro-choice and pro-life advocates could both agree this is a better situation but sadly, it’s not the case.
Unlike Oregon’s recent law allowing OTC birth control pills, in California, there is no age restriction. Pharmacists can, however, refuse to fill a prescription if they see fit.

Currently, Oregon and California are the only states to allow hormonal birth control methods to be given through a pharmacy consultation but Hawaii, New Mexico, and Alaska are expected to soon pass similar laws.

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