Over the counter birth control pills will start being issued this week in Oregon and starting in March also in California.
The bill which allows pharmacists to prescribe birth control pills has been signed by Gov. Kate Brown on July 1 and it imposes an age restriction at 18 years old. Unlike that the law in California has no age restriction so teens of all ages will have access to the pills without consent from their doctor or parents.
However, Dr. Alison Edelman from OHSU advises women that preventive health care is very important and regular check-ups should still be on every woman’s to-do list. Besides that Edelman salutes the law saying that access to birth control is something that every woman has a right to.
At the beginning of 2016 Oregon becomes the first state in the U.S. to give women the right to have easier access over their own reproduction. Any woman over 18 will be allowed to get a birth control prescription from a pharmacist if everything looks good after they complete a given questionnaire.
For now women under 18 will still need a prescription from their doctor before being able to get birth control pills but this restriction will probably be removed from the low in the future.
The good news continue for Oregon’s women as they will not only be able to get over the counter birth control pills but they will also be able to get a year-long supply at one time after the insurance companies have been required to cover the expenses for a full year.
Pharmacists will still be allowed to refuse clients for religious reasons but if they do that they have the obligation to refer the patient to another pharmacy.
According to Dr. Edelman some health care providers are worried that women will stop showing up for their regular check-ups if they will be able to get birth control from the pharmacist. But Edelman believes that women shouldn’t be held hostages and prevented from getting birth control under the idea of their own safety.
Cervical cancer screenings are still recommended every three years through Pap tests or every 5 years for those who are getting an HPV test at the same time with the Pap. During these visits to the doctor it is also recommended to do breast and blood pressure screenings and also pregnancy planning.
Senators in Washington and Colorado have also introduced some versions of Oregon’s law so they are expected to be the next after California to provide women access to over the counter birth control pills.
Image source: freeimages.com