Should Birth Control Pills Be Available without a Prescription?

Hormonal birth control has been FDA-approved since 1960, but women have always needed a physician’s prescription to get it. Recent legislation has passed in California and Oregon making hormonal birth control available to women at the pharmacy without a doctor's prescription. As more states are considering over the counter birth control as an option, the debate to make hormonal birth control accessible has received greater attention.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has endorsed over-the-counter access for birth control pills since 2012 and it is already available in over 100 countries outside of the US. For more information on this, please click here or here.

OB/GYN Dr. Jennifer Ashton and family medicine physician Dr. Rachael Ross raise concerns that the easy access to OTC birth control may discourage women from getting regular STD screenings. Ibis Reproductive Health representative Britt Wahlin argues that this is not the case, stating studies have shown an overwhelming majority of women continue to see their physicians. For more information on Ibis's stance, click here.