According to Mercury News, birth control can now be bought over the counter. Lawmakers for the bill said it was a progressive step forward in women's health, stating that one trip to the pharmacist would give women more freedom when considering and selecting birth control. This new legislation hopes to lead to fewer unintended pregnancies throughout the state.
Chief Executive Officer of the California Pharmacists Association Jon Roth said it was important for pharmacies to distribute birth control without prescription as it is not always possible for a woman to visit her doctor for birth control, giving women more options and the freedom to go in when it is convenient for them.
"Community pharmacies are open beyond normal business hours and patients do not need an appointment to see their pharmacist," said Roth. "That means these regulations will go a long way to expanding women's access to birth control."
However, those against the move are critical of how much help it will do or if it will hurt women in the long run. Dr. Donna Harrison of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists explained that the advice of a personal physician when selecting birth control is key as they can give valuable advice to the various side effects that can occur when on the pill.
"It's just not a safe thing to put diagnosis and treatment and follow-up in the hands of a pharmacist," said Harrison to the Los Angeles Times. "It's very foolish."
Oregon and Washington already have legislation that allows pharmacists to give birth control to women, and more states are expected to follow.