Why Birth Control Pills Should Be Available Over The Counter
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

8 Reasons Birth Control Pills Should Already Be Available Over-The-Counter

No prescription should be necessary for this versatile and widely used drug.

165
8 Reasons Birth Control Pills Should Already Be Available Over-The-Counter

In recent years, states controlled by Republicans and the White House have endorsed restrictions on reproductive healthcare services such as easy access to abortions and certain contraceptive methods. One common type of birth control, however, remains largely accessible and covered by most insurance plans: the pill. This hormone-based oral contraceptive is relatively cheap, even without insurance, making it ideal for just about everyone.

However, it does require a prescription. Though it's becoming easier and easier to acquire one since some companies now prescribe online, it seems to make more sense to bypass the middleman and just offer pills over-the-counter.

Here are eight reasons that obtaining birth control pills should require no more effort than driving to your local pharmacy each month.

Birth control pills are relatively cheap.

An over-the-counter status may keep the pill from being covered by insurance companies, but the cost of pills even without insurance is still between $5 and $50 per month (and it's a possibility that costs would go down if the pill was offered over-the-counter due to competition). This cost may be more than women covered by insurance are paying now, but wider access to the pill eliminates the need for contraceptive-related doctor's visits, which can cost between $150 and $200 for the uninsured.

Moreover, wider access to the pill may lower the rate of unintended pregnancies, which are wildly expensive for parents and taxpayers alike.

Wider access to birth control could help lower abortion rates.

The reasoning behind this one is simple. Birth control decreases the number of unintended pregnancies, which lessens the need for abortions as a result. Having consistent access to birth control is far more cost-effective than paying out-of-pocket to terminate an accidental pregnancy. Further, those who are personally opposed to having an abortion will have easier access to a birth control method that prevents the need for one.

Birth control is not habit-forming.

Though some over-the-counter drugs can be easily abused, like cold medicines and pain relievers, the birth control pill is not addictive. Some people claim that they experience withdrawal symptoms while not on the pill, but these are often pre-existing symptoms that were suppressed by the pill and reappear when use of the pill is discontinued.

It’s almost impossible to overdose.

Symptoms of a birth control overdose are unlikely to be life-threatening or have serious lasting symptoms, so wider access is very unlikely to lead to deaths. Birth control pills generally come in blister packs, too, which have been proven to lower the rate of accidental overdoses by children.

Adolescents would be able to take control of their own reproductive health without fear of embarrassment or backlash.

Teenagers, who are often still on their parents' insurance plans, may hesitate to obtain a prescription for the birth control pill out of embarrassment or fear of backlash from their parents. Though discussions about sexual health should always be encouraged, teenagers should be granted the ability to take control over their own reproductive health without disclosing their personal reasons to a doctor or parent.

Using two or more types of birth control simultaneously vastly reduces risk of pregnancy.

Contraceptives like condoms and spermicides are already available without a prescription, and adding the birth control pill to this list could help to severely reduce the chance of unwanted pregnancy. Experts recommend combining hormonal methods (the pill) with barrier methods (condoms or spermicides) to maximize the efficiency of birth control — this would be far easier to do if both were available in the same place.

The pill has a number of other health benefits.

According to Planned Parenthood, the pill can also be used to treat acne, bone thinning, cysts, endometrial and ovarian cancers, infections, irregular periods, and anemia. Because of this, the pill is a valid option even for those who are not concerned with pregnancy prevention.

Everyone has a right to control their own reproductive health without anyone else’s knowledge or approval.

The right to bodily autonomy is often unstable, as access to abortion and contraceptives are hot topics in politics right now. Widening the accessibility of the birth control pill will allow a larger pool of people with female reproductive systems to take control of their own health without fearing the influence of politicians.

Privacy rights are a cornerstone of American democracy, and making the pill accessible to all without the influence of doctors or politicians is a way to ensure that Americans have the privacy to which they are entitled when making this personal medical decision.

For such a versatile and widely-used drug, over-the-counter access seems beyond reasonable.

Report this Content
Featured

5 Cakes You Need to Try This Winter

Spending the winter trying different cakes can be a great way to combat seasonal depression. Lift the spirits of your entire family by trying these five cakes.

12189
Try This Winter

The winter can be a dull time spent indoors with very little change. But, it doesn't have to be that way. There are plenty of ways to spice up your daily routine, and dessert is one of them.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Reasons to Consider a Career as a Defense Lawyer

Lawyers are supposed to be unbiased. Lawyers are trained to look at both sides of an issue and give equal weight to each side. It is meant to be their mantra, "My client is innocent until proven guilty."

89224
Career as a Defense Lawyer

Lawyers are supposed to be unbiased. Lawyers are trained to look at both sides of an issue and give equal weight to each side. It is meant to be their mantra, "My client is innocent until proven guilty." But if you're thinking about becoming a defense attorney, it's not this pretty simple. Defense lawyers argue that their clients are innocent because they don't want their actions to seem suspect in any way. They essentially say for the sake of the argument itself. If you're trying to decide whether or not becoming a defense attorney is something you would like to do, here are five reasons why it's worth considering:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

What Everyone Should Know About Online Degrees

Nowadays, many working adults, high school graduates, and retired lifelong learners are choosing to advance their careers, lives, and personal knowledge by completing school at home.

192696
Online Degrees

The rising popularity of online college and graduate school degrees has completely changed the face of education and student life. It's no longer necessary to pack up all your belongings and head off to a distant locale in order to earn a diploma. Nowadays, many working adults, high school graduates, and retired lifelong learners are choosing to advance their careers, lives, and personal knowledge by completing school at home.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

What I am thankful for

I am saying one thing that I am thankful each day for until Thanksgiving. You try it to it will bring you joy.

145483
It's Thanksgiving time
Element5 Digital

November 1st, I am thankful for God and Jesus. I put my faith in them, they protect and help me through the happy and the sad in life. I could not imagine a world without them.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Chatting with the Iron Boy Himself Arthur Bozikas

Arthur Bozikas has penned a memoir that is heart-breaking and gutsy, as well as being full of hope and gratitude. This book is guaranteed to lift up readers and have them believing in the resilience and transcendence of the human spirit, making it a must read for years to come.

94168
Arthur Bozikas

Arthur Bozikas has penned a memoir that is heart-breaking and gutsy, as well as being full of hope and gratitude. This book is guaranteed to lift up readers and have them believing in the resilience and transcendence of the human spirit, making it a must read for years to come.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments