A new law allows women to get birth control without a prescription.
Women in California no longer need a prescription for birth control thanks to a new law that just went into effect, and pro-life groups aren’t happy about it.
Instead, women will need only to visit a pharmacist and ask for a pill, patch, or any other birth control method, according to a University of Southern California statement. The law, which was passed in 2013 but only recently went into effect, allows California pharmacists to provide prescription contraceptives directly to individuals who ask for them without requiring a prescription.
However, critics are slamming the law as sending the wrong message to teens. Pro-life groups have ripped pro-choice groups who are in favor of the law for supposedly making a living off of abortion and contraceptives, with the San Jose Mercury News quote California Right to Life spokeswoman Camille Giglio as saying that it is “a barrier to communication between a mother and a child.”
The pharmacist is still required to have the patient fill out a health questionnaire, and then talk about what type of birth control the individual should get.
California and Oregon are now the only states that allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control thanks to Senate Bill 493.
Kathleen Hill-Besinque, associate professor of USC School of Pharmacy, said in a statement that there is no rule requiring pharmacies in California to provide birth control.
“During the initial few weeks, pharmacists and pharmacies will be gearing up for this new service, so women should call a pharmacy in advance to find out if it is able to provide this service,” she said.
Prescription birth control will continue to be covered by insurance under the Affordable Care Act, she noted.
“California is the latest state in which pharmacists can prescribe birth control, behind Oregon,” she said. “The move toward pharmacists prescribing birth control is part of a larger national trend toward team-based health care in which doctors and other medical professionals work together to oversee an individual’s health care.”