New Jersey Legislators Push Bill to Make Birth Control Pills Over The Counter

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Trenton, NJ – If a bill in the New Jersey Senate clears and is signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy, birth control pills in the Garden State might soon be bought without a doctor’s prescription.

The New Jersey Senate approved legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley Turner and Senator Joseph Vitale, which would allow pharmacists to dispense certain hormonal contraceptives without an individual prescription.

“Birth control is a crucial piece of reproductive health care. Expanding access to birth control will significantly decrease the likelihood of unintended pregnancies,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “Making contraceptives available without an individual script will make them more affordable and more accessible to low- and moderate-income women. This legislation will give women more control over their bodies and their reproductive health, reducing unintended pregnancies and abortions.”

The bill, S-275, would allow pharmacists to dispense certain self-administered hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills and vaginal rings, without an individual prescription. The bill would require the Board of Pharmacy and the State Board of Medical Examiners to issue a standing order authorizing pharmacists to do so, the legislators said.

“It’s documented, the more accessible contraceptives are for men and women, the more effective they are at preventing unintended pregnancies,” said Senator Vitale (D-Middlesex), chair of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. “This is smart legislation that puts us on par with numerous states across the nation and I’m proud that in New Jersey we are trying to make smart health decisions easier, not harder.”

According to the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, 20 U.S. jurisdictions currently allow pharmacists to dispense contraceptives.