AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News heard from some Hampshire County residents about their views on the FDA considering over-the-counter birth control pills. This comes as the right to abortion in some states hangs in the balance, or is banned already.
The people who spoke to 22News were hopeful that contraceptives can become more readily available to everyone who needs it.
Emilee Klein from Amherst said, “To have birth control open to all women would be incredible.”
After the overturning of Roe V. Wade there is a push to expand access to contraceptives across the country, as the FDA considers over-the-counter birth control pills
“I think there is a huge barrier to getting the actual prescription, especially if you don’t have health insurance or if there is an income barrier,” Klein added.
Birth control pills have been used by millions of women since the 1960’s, but have always been required by prescription so healthcare professionals can screen for any risks like blood clots. The French pharmaceutical company seeking the FDA’s approval says that women would be able to safely screen themselves for those risks and use the pill effectively.
As worries grow over the state of reproductive rights in the U.S. some say this isn’t a long term solution.
Morgan Trenholm of Northampton expressed, “For now that is a good solution, but ideally there would be some more equitable long-term solutions to this sort of power imbalance with bodily autonomy.”
According to reports, the FDA’s final decision on this could come by next year, but would not apply to all birth control pills. In the meantime advocates for reproductive rights are calling for other forms of birth control that require prescription to be over the counter, as well as the abortion pill.
Currently birth control pills are available over the counter elsewhere in the world, including parts of South America, Asia and Africa.