California and Oregon Leading the Way in Making Birth Control More Accessible

If you are a woman living in either California or Oregon, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Groundbreaking laws in these two states will soon make it legal for women to obtain birth control directly from their pharmacist, completely bypassing the need for a prescription from their doctor. This will not only make women’s reproductive healthcare more accessible and convenient but also less expensive.

Most states in the US are currently grappling with consistent high rates of unintended pregnancy. In fact, nearly half of pregnancies in the US are unintended. As it stands now however, all states require a doctor’s prescription before they can receive hormonal birth control including pills, patches, or rings.

Here is how it will work: After filling out a short health and medical history questionnaire, women will be able to obtain a contraceptive directly from their pharmacist. The cost of birth control will be covered by insurance, just as it is now under the Affordable Care Act.

Though reproductive health groups are pushing to make contraceptives available over the counter, we feel that this is a step in the right direction. Here is to hoping that other states follow in their footsteps.

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