What do doctors know about changing the birth control pill from prescription to over the counter?
It’s probably more sensible to let the decision be made by extreme religious people or anti-science members of Congress, like Marco The-Earth’s-Age-Is “One of the great mysteries” Rubio, who prefer moving the US into the Dark Ages.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) said today that increasing women’s access to birth control in this way could reduce the rate of unplanned pregnancies in the United States, which has not changed in the last 20 years. About half of U.S. pregnancies are unintended.
Although selling birth control pills over-the-counter (OTC) comes with risks — like any drug, the pill has potential side effects, and there are concerns it would be used by women who should not take the drug — these are outweighed by the benefits, the ACOG says.
The pill’s availability would not change overnight. First, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would require drug companies to conduct studies proving the pill is safe for OTC use, said Claire Brindis, a reproductive health researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. For instance, the companies would need to prove that women who hadn’t consulted with a doctor do indeed understand the medication’s side effects and the circumstances under which they should not take it, Brindis said.