Despite risks of blood clots, stroke and death, in October 2015 California will be the first state to allow women to purchase birth control pills without a prescription. The pharmacist need only complete a one hour training, conduct a health screening of the woman and take her blood pressure. And, there is no age restriction.
Oregon has a similar law that will take effect in January 2016. While Oregonians are still working on the regulations, they will likely require more training for the pharmacists and will only sell to minors who have a prior prescription from a doctor.
Although women’s rights advocates applaud the improved access to oral contraceptives, some are concerned about the serious health risks posed by the drugs and fear the lack of health care provider screening will increase unnecessary risks.