Feministing has had a few great pieces lately on the intersection of women’s health and policy, discussing recent debates over how and which kind of contraception should be available. Several groups have recently made announcements relying on science, rather than fear-based rhetoric, to encourage greater access to contraception for women and other uterus-having people of all ages.
Last week, the site discussed a group of OB/GYN doctors who think birth control pills should be available over-the-counter. They claim that such availability would increase access and make it easier to take birth control pills regularly, which certainly seems like a great move to promote public health and increase the ability for people to control their own bodies. Another good point is that emergency contraception, a higher dose of contraceptive hormones, already can be purchased over the counter, which on top of the medical establishment’s support suggests that this would be a safe and helpful advance for reproductive health.
That is, you can get emergency contraception if you’re over 17. As Feministing discusses, there have been major disappointments in terms of access to emergency contraception for minors, but recently a group of pediatricians has stated the age limit should be removed. This policy suggestion also seems like the right move for preventing unwanted pregnancies and allowing people of all ages to control their own bodies.
I am hopeful that these suggestions may work their way into laws, as the scientific evidence begins to outweigh baseless concerns that this access somehow promotes sexual activity at a young age or would endanger the health of those taking birth control pills. What do you think, readers–will these evidence-based recommendations be heeded anytime soon?