(Mirror Daily, United States) – Getting prescription birth control can be quite a hassle; the ladies need to make an appointment with a clinic or a doctor, undergo a physical exam and then take the prescription to be filled at a pharmacy or mail it and wait.
But the women of Oregon and California got an unexpected New Year gift – or a belated Christmas present – in the form of a new law. According to the states’ lawmakers, over-the-counter birth control will become a reality starting different times in 2016, making the female citizens’ life a little easier.
Beginning in January 1 for Oregonians and March for Californians, birth control pills will be sold over the counter, with the only requirements being a questionnaire and a brief consult with a pharmacist.
People across the political spectrum have long known – or should’ve known – that making the pill more widely available for women OTC would change the situation for the better for all people involved.
At the same time, feminists are rejoicing everywhere, since having over-the-counter birth control gives women back their choice, finally putting an end to doctors holding the pill hostage out of habit. That situation did nothing but cause women – who often lacked the money and time – to come in for unnecessary screenings.
The set of laws removes a great obstacle in getting birth control, and it makes it easier for women to go on the pill, something that has enjoyed plenty of controversy in the U.S. in recent years.
Even with this latest law, religious organizations are expected to oppose the efforts and pharmacists around the country to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control. While it’s true that the birth control pills have no power against STDs and have some side effects, they are considerably less risky than other OTC drugs.
Having to consult with a doctor before going on the pill was meant to offer the opportunity for an open discussion about the benefits and disadvantages of the pill, but that didn’t happen in a lot of cases. Doctors are too hurried or crowded to have time for the talk, or they just think the patient already knows about the pill.
Either way, the advantages of giving women more control over their reproductive health far outweigh the disadvantages and the slight risks. At the same time, the alternatives are worse: searching for birth control in a black market, or just doing without.
Image Source: Cosmo UK