The Oregon Legislature has advanced two bills that will make purchasing female birth control as easy as buying tic tacs (although tic tacs will remain far more refreshing).
If passed by the Senate and signed by the governor, House Bill 3343 will require insurance providers to cover birth control prescriptions written for up to 12 months, as opposed to the more common 30 or 90 day periods. The Oregon Senate Democrats’ office claims their state would be the first in the country to do so.
If House Bill 2879 passes the same hurdles, it will allow women access to birth control pills without a doctor’s prescription.
“It makes no sense that men should have unrestricted access to contraceptives, while women must first get a prescription from their physician,” said Rep. Knute Buehler, who helped create the bill and is also a doctor. “If a woman wants to purchase birth control at her local pharmacy, she should be able to do that without having to schedule an appointment with a doctor.”
In all fairness, there’s more risk involved with ingesting hormones than using a condom, so chalking it up to a double standard is a tad disingenuous. No one ever got a blood clot from wrapping their erection in latex.
But according to the Statesman Journal, “the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Board of Pharmacists would create the rules and protocols, including training, a self-screening test and notifying the patient’s primary care provider.” This would help alleviate the need for a doctors’ visit while still providing for the safety and education of the patient.
While these laws are a great first step, might I suggest we cut out the middle man and just start adding contraceptives to our nation’s water supply. It might seem extreme, but anyone who’s visited the comment section on YouTube will understand the urgent need.
(Source: The Statesman Journal)
Jason Mathews is Internetting way too hard. Follow him at @jasonmathews316.