Birth Control… Over the Counter?

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Courtesy Tribune News Service

Lex Minnick, Business Manager, Editor

Imagine walking into Walgreens, CVS, or Rite-Aid and being able to buy your birth control over the counter, meaning you don’t need a prescription. Therefore no doctor’s appointment? No awkward conversations?

Oregon is the first US state to make this happen, while California will be starting this in March. Other states are looking into this idea to make birth control easier for women to get.  

I believe this could be helpful in many aspects. Many teenagers are sexually active yet are too scared to talk to their parents. Understandably enough it can be an awkward situation, especially depending on their age. Yet they still need to be protected, whether their parent agrees with their actions or not.

These two states are acknowledging that “the pill” has a long history of safety, nearly 50 years now.  In some cases oral contraceptives have even been prescribed by dermatologists, just to help with teen acne.

Besides the matter of awkward conversations, birth control isn’t always free to people. Some can be lucky enough to have insurance that covers it. But even insured people often have a co-pay cost. Oral contraceptives can be priced between $15 to $50, which doesn’t sound too expensive initially. But thinking about that for months and years and it adds up.

Yet birth control is classified to be a hormone, like a steroid. So would this opportunity be another way people could abuse drugs? Although this could be a threat, people will always find a way to abuse things so over the counter birth control could outweigh this threat with many other positive aspects.

Another downside could be that when a women goes to get birth control, they have to have an appointment in which a doctor follows up on a woman’s health history. This could help her and others in the long run from spreading diseases or with other medical matters.

The states that are allowing birth control over the counter require a health questionnaire before giving out the pill in which people can be denied still. This is still attempting to promote women’s health care yet woman should still have to have a regular doctor’s visit.

In my opinion, all women should have an opportunity to receive birth control though. In the end, it is their bodies meaning their choices.