Some U.S. pharmacists to prescribe birth control

Nov 23, 2015, 12:02 PM EST
Pregnant woman
Pregnant woman
California and Oregon are two states issuing laws that will make access to birth control easier for millions of women. The laws will make it possible for women to obtain hormonal contraceptives such as pills, patches, and rings from pharmacists, without needing to visit a doctor. The New York Times reports:
 
Even as the Supreme Court prepares to consider another divisive case involving access to contraception, public health advocates hope these arrangements could spread across the country, as states grappling with persistently high rates of unintended pregnancy seek to increase access to birth control with measures that so far have been unavailable under federal law.
 
The laws should go into effect within the next few months, and pharmacists will be authorized to prescribe contraceptives after screening processes in which women fill out questionnaires about their health and medical histories. The contraceptives will be covered by insurance. 
 
Refinery29 writes that opposition to these laws could be the reason why states like California have been waiting to enact them. California’s state pharmacy board finalized its protocols for prescribing contraceptives and has been waiting since June for approval from other state agencies. Oregon’s loaw also passed over the summer and is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2016.
 
There are 6.6 million unintended pregnancies annually in the U.S.
 
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