You can now access “hormonal” birth control in Oregon without a doctor’s prescription, and in March of 2016, Californians will be able to do the same. If you live in Oregon and are under 18, you’re still going to need your first prescription to come from a doctor; in California, however, all ages are welcome to exercise this new right to reproductive healthcare.
Of course, hormonal birth control won’t just be passed out freely, without any knowledge of past or present medical issues. Hormonal birth control includes pills, the patch, and the ring, and should always be taken under a medical professional’s supervision. Under the new law, patients will fill out a medical history questionnaire to submit to their doctor, and will briefly consult with a pharmacist before receiving their over-the-counter contraceptives.
The law was passed in Oregon on January 1, 2016 (a great start to the new year!), and was originally passed in 2013 in California, though details are still being worked out. However, as exciting as this news is, it is still important to schedule regular reproductive health check-ups. Make sure you get yours, either at your local Planned Parenthood clinic, or in your private doctor’s office.
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