argument top image

Should birth control be for sale over the counter? Show more Show less
Back to question

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?

No, OTC birth control should not be for sale Show more Show less

While the idea of selling birth control over the counter may sound like a good idea, there are many potential health risks. Making birth control available over the counter may actually lead to more unwanted pregnancies, as well as other health risks. No drug is risk free, and women should consult a medical professional before taking any form of birth control.
< (2 of 2)

Birth control raises the number of unwanted and teen pregnancies

Health professionals are concerned that instead of reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, making birth control available over the counter would actually increase the number, especially in teen populations. Birth control is not always effective, and making it available over the counter would be irresponsible.

The Argument

Making birth control available over the counter is not effective in reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies. Though it may sound like a good idea in preventing pregnancy. making the drug available to the general population is irresponsible, especially when it comes to preventing teen pregnancy. Teenagers do not always take responsibility when it comes to birth control. Many are uneducated about the overall effectiveness, and the proper way to use it. Instructions require a woman to take the pill at the same time every day for more effective use, but it is still not 100% effective. [1]Many women who take birth control also use other contraceptives along with it, such as condoms. By making the pill readily available without consulting a doctor, teens would be more likely to use the drug, and not take other pre-cautions to increase effectiveness. [2] If birth control were available over the counter, there should be an age restriction. If 18 was the required to purchase birth control in a pharmacy, maybe the chances of preventing teen pregnancy would increase. But the chances are still small when you compare it to the number of women who still get pregnant while taking the pill.

Counter arguments

Though birth control is not 100% effective in preventing pregnancy, the chances of getting pregnant on birth control are still very small. Still, the number of teen pregnancies in the United States is relatively higher than many other western industrialized nations. If birth control were made available over the counter, these numbers would decline, and would prevent the number of teen pregnancies annually.[3] The record number of teen pregnancies in the United States has declined significantly over the past few years. The number one reason for this is the use of contraceptives. If birth control was available over the counter, these numbers would continue to decline. There are always risks involved, but making birth control available in pharmacies would be more beneficial in preventing unintended or teen pregnancy than having to consult a doctor.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/unintendedpregnancy/pdf/contraceptive_methods_508.pdf
  2. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/birth-control-pill
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/about/index.htm
This page was last edited on Friday, 6 Nov 2020 at 15:21 UTC

Explore related arguments