Birth control increases health risks
Though birth control protects women from unwanted pregnancies, it is not effective against sexually transmitted diseases. Making birth control accessible over the counter would decrease the use of condoms, and increase the spread of STDs. Women would also be less likely to visit their OB/GYN for yearly annual check-ups.
Having birth control available over the counter may seem beneficial, but many women would be put at risk when it comes to health. Though birth control is effective in preventing pregnancy, it does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. If birth control is so easily available in pharmacies, women would be less likely to use contraceptives that prevent STDs. Another concern is less frequent OB/GYN visits. In order to obtain a prescription for birth control, one must consult a doctor or an OB/GYN. Women are generally required to visit their OB/GYN once a year for their annual check-up. Annual visits to an OB/GYN include breast exams, pelvic exams, and a pap test to screen for cervical cancer. This is usually also the time when their birth control prescription is renewed for continual use. If birth control is made available over the counter, women could be more likely to skip annual visits, and would be putting themselves at great risk for health complications. Though birth control has several health benefits aside from preventing pregnancy, it would be too risky to make it available over the counter. Though it would be convenient, It would be more beneficial for women to consult a doctor before taking birth control.
Selling birth control over the counter has many benefits, even though protecting against sexually transmitted diseases is not one of them. Women take responsibility for themselves by taking birth control, and are more likely aware that it does not protect against STDs. If STD prevention is a concern, there are a variety of options available. Excluding birth control from being sold over the counter for this reason is unproductive.