Oregon Just Became The First State To Make Birth Control Available Over-The-Counter

Women in Oregon can now get birth control over-the-counter, thanks to new legislation that allows pharmacists to administer oral contraceptives without a physician's prescription.

The bill, which went into effect January 1, requires patients to fill out a medical history and a questionnaire in order to receive the hormone pills. If accepted by the pharmacist, the patient may take home up to a year's worth of birth control as under the new law, insurers are required to cover 12 months of refills.

The legislation was first proposed by Oregon state representative (and orthopedic surgeon) Knute Buehler. He said,

As a doctor, I think birth control should be as easy and accessible as possible. It makes no sense that men have unrestrained access to contraception but women don't.

After a failed first attempt at passing, the bill finally won by a 50-10 margin over the summer.

The ruling makes Oregon the first state to make birth control available over-the-counter. California, which passed a similar law in 2013, is expected to follow in March, while Washington and Colorado are both considering similar legislation.

Citations: Oregon Becomes First State to Make Birth Control Available Over the Counter (Cosmopolitan), Birth control access Pharmacy prescription bill clears House (Oregon Live)