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Oregon Allows OTC Prescription Of Birth Control Pills, California To Follow Suit

Update Date: Jan 04, 2016 11:31 AM EST

Women in Oregon do not need doctor prescriptions for contraceptive pills. But the purchase is not exactly OTC yet.

The state became the first to introduce a law that allows women to purchase birth control pills from pharmacies, according to Christian Science Monitor. The rider - women have to share their medical history with qualified pharmacists before they can make the purchase. Women under 18 will still need a doctor's prescription.

The bill comes on the back of support it received from doctors and medical personnel. Many who supported the law however said that women should continue to see their doctors regularly.

"Just having birth control accessible through a pharmacist doesn't mean preventative health care isn't important," Dr. Alison Edelman, one of law's supporters, said according to UPI, which also mentioned that pharmacists can refuse pills citing religious reasons. Regular doctor visits are considered important to prevent cervical cancer. Visits every three year have been shown to improve rates of early detection and prevention.

While it is not known if many other states would follow suit, a similar law is in the pipeline in California, notwithstanding the politics over insurance coverage for OTC contraceptives; insurance covers pills in Oregon.

While the debate continues over whether age limit restrictions should apply to availability of birth control pills, given that teenagers are among the most vulnerable, Oregon's law is being seen as a step forward across the political divide, Christian Science Monitor reports.

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