Oregon has become the first state in the US to give green signal to the sale of over-the-counter birth control prescriptions. The approval means that the state will be able to prescribe birth control pills to women who pass a series of new laws for the 2016 legislative year.
It is expected that California may follow the suit soon. With the new law, approval for the pills by doctor no more will be needed. Experts have shared that the decision may create a ripple effect instigating other states to reconsider their birth control laws in the near future. It will take some time before Oregon roll out the changes.
As per the new law, pharmacists will have to attend a mandatory training session before they start prescribing birth control pills over the counter. The law also permits providers to refuse offering birth control for religious reasons and it requires people seeking birth control to contact a pharmacist who would provide them with a written a prescription.
Like every new law, this one has also attracted both negative and positive feedbacks. Critics of the law have raised concerns that the law could encourage young women to skip their checkup with doctors that could become a reason behind an uptick in preventable disease.
On the other hand, proponents of the law have termed the law as a big victory for reproductive health. According to them, birth control has proven to bring decline in the number of unintended pregnancies. The law makes to have an access to birth control as easy as any other medication.
Another requirement of the new law is women seeking birth control must be above 18 years of age and will be required to fill in a health questionnaire before a prescription is written for then. Around 300 approved bills in the state went into effect from January 1.
NEWSY reported that, the new law cuts out the doctor visit. Instead women just fill out a medical questionnaire at the pharmacy to obtain a prescription for the entire year — a move critics call risky.
Gynecologist Kathleen Valenton told KCAL, "I think it's very dangerous. Birth-control pills are not the only way you can prevent pregnancy and they definitely don't prevent STDs."
"Just having birth control accessible through a pharmacist doesn't mean that preventative health care isn't important, that's not what this law is saying. This law is really allowing increased access to something that's incredibly safe and really a big need for women," Dr. Alison Edelman told KOIN.
PulseHeadlines report said, Last year it was announced in a report made by the organization March of Dimes, that the Oregon State has the lowest preterm birth rate in the nation, being Portland the city with the lowest rate when comparing it with the 100 U.S. cities with the greatest number of births. Oregon’s preterm birth rate is 7.7 percent, and Portland’s is 7.2 percent.
This new law that was first approved in Oregon will be probably applied later in other states such as California, where a similar proposal was already made before. It is important to remark that in order to prescribe birth control pills to women, pharmacists must approve an obligatory training session.
According to the UPI, Pharmacists in Oregon are now permitted to prescribe birth control pills to qualifying women as part of a wave of new state laws for 2016. Oregon is the first U.S. state to put such a law into effect, with California reportedly looking to follow suit.
A doctor's approval is no longer needed for a supply of pills, although experts urge women not to overlook preventative health care in the form of doctor visits.