Birth Control Should Be Sold Over the Counter Just Like Aspirin

Rant 33

A doctor's group has recommended that the birth control pill be available over the counter, without a prescription. Hallelujah, I couldn't agree more. Happy dance! When I first started taking the pill, sometime in my mid-20s, it was fairly easy to get -- despite having to go to a doctor, something that, of course, you can really only do with health insurance. Even then, I'd have to call a month or so in advance to get an appointment. And then take an hour or so off of work. But, hey, my Ob-Gyn would write a birth control prescription for me for the whole year. I'd just hop to the pharmacy and get my refill. No problemo. But, for whatever reason, it seems things have gotten more complex lately. You'd think I was trying to get a nuclear warhead.

First, the crackdown began on the timing of prescriptions. I noticed a few years ago that if you didn't get your prescription filled at the exact time you needed the refill, they simply wouldn't give it to you. This happened to me when I was out of the country for a couple of weeks. I came back, tried to fill the prescription, and was told it was "old." Uh, two weeks old?! I had to make another gyno appointment.

Another time, I had to leave the city and wanted to get my script filled before I left -- since it would run out when I was gone. Again, couldn't do it. This time, it was "too early" and they refused to overlap refills. Is someone worried I'm going to overdose on birth control?! This isn't Xanax, people!

A few years later, I switched to another insurance and tried to get recurring birth control prescriptions. This insurance plan wouldn't let me do it at all. I could go as far ahead as three months, but then I'd have to go see my doctor again for another prescription. Seeing your gyno every three months?! Does anyone realize that a lot of women work and this makes life very difficult?!

I'm always astonished when I go to other countries and see how readily available things are that, in the States, you'd need to go through a big song and dance for. You can get contact lenses over the counter. You can get codeine. Antibiotics. Viagra. It's really only here in the U.S. -- where the government is in the back pocket of the pharmaceutical and insurance industry -- that you need a prescription for EVERYTHING.

Groups against the idea cite the "health risks" of the pill as a reason why it shouldn't be over the counter. Health risks can include heart attack and stroke and hormone-based cancers. But seriously? Heart attacks are far more common because of most of the fatty foods sold prescription-free in grocery stores and fast food restaurants. People die from caffeine-laced drinks. Don't need a script for those! Tylenol can cause liver damage if you take too much. Yet anyone can walk into a store and buy it. As for cancer? How about a little thing called cigarettes that anyone can buy anywhere, anytime?

We know what this is really about. Making you go to the doctor so they can charge your insurance company a couple of hundred bucks for the five seconds it took to write out your script. And making life difficult for women who may not want to spend their whole lives pregnant.

Do you think birth control should be over the counter?


Image via nateone/Flickr

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zandh... zandhmom2

Ashleyj~ no reason to get nasty in reply to my comment.  The simple fact is that most young girls, hell even grown women for that matter, don't have enough common sense to know how "not to" get pregnant and yet we are somehow going to expect them to know how to pick out a birth control pill that works correctly with their body. Alright then.

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

There are so many different types of birth control... they are NOT a one size fits all kinda deal! With all the steps in favor of women's health that came out of Obamacare- I cannot fathom how it can be difficult to go to a dr. and get a script. Now people are just falling into the lazy category!

Visit your dr- have your yearly exams- fill your script and quit your whining.

Flori... Floridamom96

Pst, AngieHayes, condoms are birth control.

DKs-Kat DKs-Kat

I had no problem what so ever getting mine. I told my doc what I wanted (Seasonique) and she wrote the script with refills for the entire year. My insurance has no problems with handling the payments for filling it either.

No BC pills should not be otc. BC pills are medicine and as such require you to be monitered by a doctor. There are OTC birth control methods. With a variety of condoms, lubricants with n-9, sponges, foams, etc there is no reason what so ever that any woman get pregnant accidentally. If she isn't responsible enought to take precautions by buying and keeping on hand the above mentioned OTC bc methods, then she isn't likely responsible enough to take the pill at the same time, everyday.

Jespren Jespren

'The pill' is a dangerous medication which requires close monitoring. It's not tylenol, which has a few possible hazards if *abused*, it's a powerful hormonal medication which, even when taken properly, can have devasating, life-altering, and even life-ending complications. There are any number of birth control methods availible OTC, there are even more that require only a 1 time doctor visit/script (like diaphram, cervical cap, IUD, etc). There is a reason hormonal contraceptives taken daily require doctor supervision. If you don't want to be supervised, pick a less dangerous option!

tuffy... tuffymama

Women can get cheap or free BC without insurance, jec. I agree with floridamom. Hormones are dangerous to ingest without being under the care of a medical professional. Hormonal BC nearly fried out my adrenals. Trust me, you do NOT want to go through what I have suffered with this crap.

leona24 leona24

No way should it be over the counter!! I couldn't afford it if that happened. My insurance covers all the cost for it!!!

elk571 elk571

Wow to the author- not everyone is out to get you, or is 'in someone's pocket'!  Yes, I agree that things we know are REALLY bad for you (ie cigarettes, not soda) should just be illegal, and not available.  One is a choice to be unhealthy, the other one actually IS unhealthy and a drug!  However, even buying Tylenol through the pharmacy doesn't prevent ppl from overdosing, so y would making birth control OTC be safe either??  They are two different things, and since one is only for half the population, the other for everyone, it SHOULD be controlled.  Case in point, u know all those commercials for 'if you've taken XYZ you can sue', only it says those warnings on the label?  Those are b/c ppl took something their doctor WARNED them abt, and got hurt anyway, so imagine how birth control would hurt ppl if there was no dr there to warn them!

nonmember avatar T

Birth control IS sold over the counter, they're called condoms. They do work when used. The US doesn't need to make pills OTC just because people are too busy to go to their Doctor or don't like the refill restrictions.

Jaime Swift Sundin

Hmm I wonder if they will start selling my seizure meds over the counter???  Should i ask???  Come on folk BC has many many side effects and since most people dont even read the packaging on the side of the advil box i highly doubt their going to read the damn contents of a BC package.  Ya we should just all go WEBMD it and see how many things were dying of these days and not even see doctors.  Ugh ignorance at its best.  Half of the people in this world cant even use a condom properly which leads me to believe that most cant use their BC as it is suppose to be used.  And as a woman who almost died from a blood clot and has never used BC I would have no idea where to begin with that process and I am sure as heck not going to ask on cafemom.  That is like asking could i be pregnant if question.


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