Measure Looks To Expand Access To Birth Control

Apr 30, 2018

Illinois lawmakers are pushing to expand access to birth control by allowing pharmacists to fill orders without consulting a doctor. 

Credit Flickr User Nate Grigg

The measure would allow pharmacists to dispense hormonal birth control after undergoing training. Advocates say this will remove the extra step of making doctor appointments just to refill a prescription.

State Rep. Litesa Wallace (D-Rockford) says women use contraceptives for more than just family planning—like for medical issues that are easy to address without a doctor’s order.
 
“Some women have debilitation menstrual cramps, where for a young woman, that means missing class time or work time because of the pain associated with her period,” Wallace said.
 
But state Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) says this is an issue only a doctor should handle.
 
“I would like to express that this actually risks a patient’s safety,” Bryant said. “It’s an issue of a young person under the age of 18 being able to go in and get what should be a prescription medication.”
 
Advocates say gynecologists and other medical doctors were involved in drafting the legislation. They say pharmacists can already give out other medications —​ like vaccines — without a doctor’s oversight.   

House members may consider the plan over the next few weeks.​