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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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Birth control has long-term health benefits

Aside from reducing the risk of unwanted pregnancies, birth control has a number of health benefits. Women do not always seek out birth control as a contraceptive. Birth control is also used to regulate menstrual cycles, relieve symptoms of PMS, and help reduce the risks of uterine cancer and ovarian cysts.

The Argument

Women take birth control for several different reasons. While birth control is effective in pregnancy prevention, there are also many health benefits. Many women use it to regulate their menstrual cycle and reduce symptoms associated with PMS. Birth control is effective in preventing iron deficiency (anemia), bone thinning, acne, ovarian cancers, cysts, and serious infections in the uterus and fallopian tubes. [1] In many countries, including the United States, women must consult a doctor or OB/GYN first before getting a birth control prescription. Many women are without health insurance, and visiting a specialist by paying out of pocket is not always affordable or convenient. By making birth control available over the counter, women would not only have more choices in preventing pregnancy, but for their overall health as well.

Counter arguments

While it is proven that there are health benefits associated with birth control, there are also many side effects. There are a number of birth control brands that can be prescribed, but some brands are not well suited for certain women based off of their medical history. It would be irresponsible to make birth control available without the consultation of a doctor first. Birth control can come with side effects, such as headaches, vomiting, weight gain, and bleeding in between periods. There are also risk factors for women who are over the age of 35, have a history of cancer, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and blood clotting. Birth control is also risky for women who smoke. [2]Because of these factors, it is important to consult a physician before taking any brand of birth control, no matter how healthy an individual may be. While it would be a woman’s responsibility to know their medical history before taking birth control, some women may be unaware of possible health issues, or may be uneducated on how birth control may be risky for them. Making birth control available over the counter may lead to more health problems for women, and in some cases, can be very dangerous.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/birth-control-pill/what-are-the-benefits-of-the-birth-control-pill
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/birth-control/birth-control-pill-brands#causes
This page was last edited on Friday, 6 Nov 2020 at 15:19 UTC

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