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Should birth control be for sale over the counter? Show more Show less
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Contraceptives such as condoms, spermicides, and the “morning after pill” are all readily available over the counter at any pharmacy. Many question if birth control pills should be one of them. Aside from preventing pregnancy, many women take birth control for other health reasons, such as balancing hormones and regulating menstrual cycles. Should birth control be easily accessible? Or is selling birth control over the counter dangerous and irresponsible?

Yes, OTC birth control should be for sale Show more Show less

As the number of women taking birth control increases, questions are raised as to why it is not available over the counter. Many countries offer birth control over the counter, while others do not, including the United States. Making birth control available over the counter comes with many benefits, such as convenience, a reduced number of unwanted pregnancies, long term health benefits, and access for low-income populations.
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Low-income populations need access to affordable birth control

In order to obtain a prescription for birth control, women must consult a doctor first. Many women are without health insurance, and visiting a doctor is not always cheap or convenient. By making birth control accessible over the counter, the number of unwanted pregnancies would decrease in lower-income populations, as well as other health issues.

The Argument

Many women struggle to afford birth control with or without health insurance. Using a prescription, the cost typically ranges from $15 to $50 per month, adding up to $600 annually. Struggling to pay for birth control can result in an inconsistent use, essentially causing in increase in unintended pregnancies. [1] A number of women face difficulties in obtaining birth control due to living in “contraception deserts”, where there is only one clinic per every 1,000 women who require government funded birth control. The populations also facing difficulty due to discrimination include teens, women of color, and immigrants. The LGBTQ community also faces healthcare discrimination, resulting in less options for reproductive health. By making birth control available over the counter, these populations will have easier access to a method that works for them.

Counter arguments

When a drug or medication is made available in drug stores after previously requiring a prescription, the cost of the drug increases. When the “morning after” pill Plan B was introduced, it required a prescription, costing roughly $5 for the generic brand. Once Plan B was made available over the counter, the price increased dramatically around $40 for the generic brand, and $50 for a brand name. To avoid the financial barriers of obtaining birth control, women have been using new, alternative methods. New online services like Nurx have been making it easier for women to obtain birth control with or without insurance, typically paying from $0 (insured) to $15 (uninsured). By paying a small fee, they are able to receive an online consultation from a health professional, and are able to start taking their birth control within just a couple weeks. By making more services like Nurx available, women avoid paying large amounts out of pocket, and are able to make healthy decisions about their body. [2]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://birth-control.procon.org
  2. https://www.nurx.com
This page was last edited on Friday, 6 Nov 2020 at 15:20 UTC

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