January 6, 2016
…not yet, but it looks like things might be heading in that direction. With legislation becoming active on New Years Day, women in Oregon can now get hormonal contraceptives from a pharmacy, without having to go to the doctor first. The legislation, which was sponsored by a Republican and received bipartisan support, still requires prescriptions but that authority lies in the hands of pharmacists who complete a training protocol. Roughly half of all pregnancies are unintended, and physicians argue that easier access to contraception would likely reduce abortion. This move seems like a positive step forward toward many physicians’ ultimate goal of converting contraception into over-the-counter products. However, some groups, like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, worry that a move like this could actually slow down progress towards that goal.