Oregon’s birth control sales change


Local markets such as Safeway are beginning to make medical birth control more accessible to the public. In addition, Oregon representatives are fighting for a bill legalizing the sale of birth control pills in pharmacies to women lacking a doctor’s prescription. However, the option would only be available to women age 18 and older.

Oregon representatives and lawmakers are working on a bill legalizing the sale of birth control pills in pharmacies to women lacking a doctor’s noted prescription. The option would only be available to women age 18 and older, who in addition would be required to undergo a self-screening questionnaire.

“Prescriptive contraceptives are an incredible resource, but they only work if they’re taken consistently,” Jessica Pederson District 47 Representative, said.

Pharmacists would also be required to inform the women to contact their primary or previous care provider. To avoid any situation that might be personal, pharmacists would be bound by law not to participate in any moral, ethical or religious objections.

“While I am likely to support the bill, I think it’s important that young adults who exercise this choice first establish a relationship with a doctor or a primary care provider, and really learn as much as they can about the choices they’re making as it relates to their health,” Julie Parrish, District 37 Representative, said.

Currently, Oregon law states that no one can purchase birth control in licensed pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription, however those 18 or older under stress of an emergency are qualified for a limited one-time dose.

“For those with no health risks, working with a pharmacist could be a better and more affordable option,” Parrish said. “It would free up doctors for other types of visits besides just simply writing a prescription.

Representative Knute Buehler, an orthopedic surgeon, mentioned in the proposal that it would appear as if birth control pills were being dispensed over the counter. The amendment, which was submitted Wed, April 15, is attached to a bill designed to define a pharmacist’s ability to sell certain medications without the prescription of a medical doctor.

“Because any medicine can cause an adverse health reaction, young teens should remember to have health care discussions with their parents and have an open dialogue about the health choices they are making,” Parrish said.  “As a mother, I want to be able to help my children make good healthcare decisions, so open dialogue with parents is critical, even after you turn 18.”