California pharmacists: Birth control law offers direct access to more women

April 11, 2016 | By Garrett Montgomery More

California pharmacists can sell birth control to women and young girls, thanks to a new law. On April 8, Senate Bill 493 went into effect, meaning females of any age can walk into a California pharmacy and purchase almost any birth control after filling a questionnaire.

California pharmacists birth control

California pharmacists can provide birth control to all women after a simple survey. On April 8th, Senate Bill 493, which was signed into law in 2013, came in effect.

Thanks to that bill, women or young girls of any age in California can walk in their local pharmacies and obtain three types of birth control without a prescription from a doctor.

The person hoping to purchase contraceptives must first have their blood pressure taken, sit with a pharmacist, and answer a questionnaire, so they along with the health expert can determine if birth control is safe for them.

The pharmacist is required by law to remind the patient that birth control does not protect against sexually-transmitted diseases. The woman or young girl can ask questions to understand fully how she should use the birth control and learn of the side effects.

The following prescriptions for birth control can now be bought over the counter: self-administered hormonal/Depo injection birth control like pills, patches, injections, and vaginal rings. If your insurance plan pays for your birth control, it will cover the purchase.

Jon Roth, Chief Executive Officer of the California Pharmacists Association, sponsors of SB 493, said:

“Today is a wonderful day for women’s healthcare in California. We thank the California State Board of Pharmacy for completing the contraception regulations and are pleased that pharmacists can now provide direct access to birth control for women.”

Roth added:

“California’s 6,500 community pharmacies are the face of neighborhood healthcare in this state. Community pharmacies are open beyond normal business hours and patients do not need an appointment to see their pharmacist. That means these regulations will go a long way to expanding women’s access to birth control.”

Women, who are living in Washington state as well as in Washington, D.C., have long been able to obtain birth control at a pharmacy. In early 2016, Oregon began allowing pharmacists to dispense hormonal birth control directly to patients, who are over the age of 17. Lawmakers in Hawaii and Tennessee are attempting to get similar bills passed.

What are your thoughts on the new California birth control law?

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    Comments (5)

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    1. Josef Blough says:

      where else but the den of no morals would a female, regardless of age, be able to do this? why not teach young girls abstinence until marriage or at least the age of 18?

      • ann Y berr says:

        Why not teach men abstinence ? Don’t put it all on the female, men take part to.

        • HAMID says:

          Good for California. They are not forcing people to buy them, are they? Teach your own girls abstinence and let the others decide for themselvs.

      • Tonya Powell says:

        The same law should be passed in every state. Often times, teaching teens “morals” will not prevent them from having sex. It is better for young people to be safe and not get pregnant at a young age. Moreover, it was always possible for young girls to obtain birth control from an OBGYN, now they can go straight to the pharmacy. I agree with ann y berr, it is incredibly sexist to say that girls should be taught to abstain until marriage, but not boys. It is unrealistic to assume that just because you talk to your son or daughter about waiting to have sex, that they actually will. According to the CDC, in 2014, a total of 249,078 babies were born to women ages 15–19. Due to this fact, teen pregnancy and childbirth accounted for around $9.4 billion in costs to U.S. taxpayers for increased health care and foster care, increased incarceration rates among children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue because of lower educational attainment and income among teen mothers. All of this can be easily avoided when birth control is more readily available, especially to those more at risk of teen pregnancy, such as girls in lower socio-economic standings, who may not have health insurance and cannot afford to see a physician. Despite this seeming like it is detrimental to the morals of young girls, it is in fact, a huge step forward in the fight for women’s rights and to make choices about their reproductive health. Additionally, it is better for the nation because it will save billions if the same law could be passed in other states. I think anyone can see the benefits here and I want to see this be the standard for every state.

    2. sobakaska says:

      How ignorant do people have to be to not comprehend that people are going to do what they do, and that things like this being available is nothing but a positive step forward to help prevent unwanted pregnancy in a world extremely overpopulated. Narrow minded religious brainwashing has never been a solution to the worlds problems, and never will be. Something like Abstinence is a personal choice that people have and will continue to be aware of and choose to, or not to be abstinent. If there was more focus on educating young people to think for themselves intelligently instead of trying to “tell” them how to think, they would be making smarter choices for themselves on their own.

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