Oregon State Legislature passes bill allowing pharmacists to provide birth controlPosted: June 30, 2015
June 24th marked an important day for Oregon women. HB 2879, a pro-choice bill that allows women to receive birth control without a prescription from a doctor, was passed by both the Oregon State Senate and the Oregon State House of Representatives. The bill is headed to Governor Kate Bell’s desk to be signed into law.
Under HB 2879, an idea developed by Republican Representative Knute Buehler, women will be allowed to skip the doctor’s visit and head straight to the pharmacy for contraceptives. Buehler supports his idea by stating “it makes no sense that men should have unrestricted access to contraceptives, while women must first get a prescription from their physician. As a doctor, I believe birth control should be as easy and accessible as possible.” The bill includes some provisions that require women to take a risk assessment survey before receiving their prescription and girls under 18 will still have to see a doctor first, however, refills of the initial prescription can be filled by the pharmacist. The bill demonstrates a realistic and positive approach to birth control that can provide women with accessible care if and when they need it.
Oregon will be the second state after California to increase women’s access to contraceptives in this way. However, California has yet to fully develop the rules and regulations of their expanded contraceptive services, leaving Oregon the opportunity to create a foundation and be the first state to implement such a policy.