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OTC Birth Control Urged as CVS, Walgreens Plan to Sell Abortion Pill

Young black woman being upset and taking abortion pill at home
Drobot Dean - stock.adobe.com
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525681199
Young black woman being upset and taking abortion pill while sitting on sofa at home

CVS and Walgreens have announced they will sell abortion medication at pharmacies, after the FDA announced it is allowing mifepristone to be bought over the counter with a
prescription. Advocates are applauding the move, and said over-the-counter birth control access would help more women take control of their reproductive health.

Victoria Nichols, project director with a group called Free the Pill, said women often have to take time off from work or school or find transportation or child care to get into a doctor's office to get a prescription.

"Bringing a birth-control pill over the counter would really address some of the unnecessary hoops that folks have to jump through to get to a clinic visit to get a provider to give them a prescription," Nichols said.

Research from KFF finds that overall, contraceptive care is currently falling short
nationwide when it comes to access, cost, and patients' needs and preferences.

Nichols added the FDA is currently considering proposals for over-the-counter or "OTC" birth-control pills.

"Right now we know of two companies that are pursuing an RX-to-OTC switch. One is focused on a progestin-only pill, and the other is focused on a combined oral contraceptive," she said.

Last fall, Kentucky voters rejected anti-abortion ballot measure Amendment 2.

Joseph Hammer, a Lexington resident and volunteer for Showing up for Racial Justice, said he talked with Kentuckians from across the political aisle about the right to an abortion, and recounts the story of speaking at length on the phone with one pro-life resident.

"I say, 'So, can you commit to voting no on constitutional Amendment 2 in November?' And he said he would vote no. And so this is a self-identified conservative pro-life guy voting no. And that's why this amendment was defeated," Hammer said.

Volunteers headquartered in Jefferson and Boyd counties made more than 100,000 calls to Kentuckians, and held more than 20,000 thousand conversations with voters.

Launched in 2008, the Kentucky News Connection (KNC) is part of a network of independent public interest state-based news services pioneered by Public News Service. Our mission is an informed and engaged citizenry making educated decisions in service to democracy; and our role is to inform, inspire, excite and sometimes reassure people in a constantly changing environment through reporting spans political, geographic and technical divides.
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