Women in Oregon no longer need to get an appointment at a clinic or with a doctor, being physically examined and take the prescription to be filled at a pharmacy for obtaining prescription birth control, thanks to a new law.
Starting 1st of January 2016, the state of Oregon allows women (who are at least 18) to access hormonal birth control drugs without needing a doctor’s prescription. Authorities say making over-the-counter birth control available will make women’s life a little easier.
However, women will have to fill out a questionnaire and briefly consult with a pharmacist before receiving birth control pills over the counter. California is set to follow suit in around a couple of months later.
The Golden State will allow women to receive birth control pills over the counter starting in March this year. Details of the new law are still being worked out by lawmakers in Sacramento.
Dr. Alison Edelman of Oregon Health & Science University expressed support for the new law, but stressed that it could prevent women from coming in for preventative check-ups.
Commenting on the new law, Dr. Edelman said, “Just having birth control accessible through a pharmacist doesn’t mean preventative health care isn’t important … Obviously we try to hit all of those in one visit, but really we shouldn’t be holding women hostage for them to be getting their birth control.”
The new law allows pharmacists to refuse birth control prescriptions due to religious reasons, but they are obliged to refer the customer somewhere else.