At a time when many states are choosing to defund Planned Parenthood and abortion access is dwindling in Texas, it's important to celebrate all reproductive victories -- big and small. That's why our uteruses are overjoyed that California and Oregon have passed laws that will allow pharmacists in these states to prescribe birth control pills.
It's a move that saves both time and money, as those seeking pills will no longer have to visit (and therefore pay) a gynecologist first. According to the New York Times, "Pharmacists will be authorized to prescribe contraceptives after a quick screening process in which women fill out a questionnaire about their health and medical histories," and "contraceptives will be covered by insurance." Groovy.
"I feel strongly that this is what’s best for women’s health in the 21st century, and I also feel it will have repercussions for decreasing poverty because one of the key things for women in poverty is unintended pregnancy," State Representative Knute Buehler, Republican in the Oregon House of Representatives, told the Times.
Of course, there's room for improvement. According to the Times, "Reproductive health groups and medical associations increasingly say the ultimate goal should be to make contraceptives available without a prescription, and some worry that the push for pharmacist-prescribed contraceptives could thwart that." The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, for example, has said that birth control pills "should be available solely over the counter."
While there's certainly a lot of work ahead, one thing's for sure: 48 states have a loooot of catching up to do.