Oregon Governor Kate Brown has signed a measure into law that will allow Oregon pharmacists to prescribe birth control directly to patients. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Knute Buehler, who is both male and Republican, who sponsored the proposal because, he said, “it makes no sense that men have unrestrained access to contraception” while women don’t. Oregon, man.
HB 2879 passed the state House in June 50-10, and Governor Brown signed it into law Monday morning. It will allow women over 18 to get a birth control prescription from their pharmacists after filling out a 20-item screening questionnaire; patients younger than 18 are also eligible, so long as they’ve gotten at least one previous hormonal birth control prescription filled by a medical provider. (You can read the full text here.)
The questionnaire is meant to screen for risks like blood clots. According to Oregon Live, one of the bill’s opponents said she objected based on the fact that some hormonal birth control can increase the risk of blood clots; Buehler, a physician, responded by saying that the blood clot risk was “outweighed by the health risks of unplanned pregnancies.” Oregon’s Catholic Conference also opposed the bill, saying it would “encourage sexual activity” among young people.
Oregon is now the only state besides California with a law on the books allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control, and it will be the first state in the nation to implement it.
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