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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 reduces the number of unwanted pregnancies

A majority of unwanted pregnancies are caused by the absence or misuse of birth control. Over the past few years, the rate of teen pregnancies has lowered due to the increased use of contraceptives, including the pill. By making birth control pills available over the counter, as well as other birth control methods, the number of unwanted pregnancies would decrease.

The Argument

Women should have more options when it comes to taking control of their own reproductive health. Many women are often put in difficult situations because they do not have the proper resources to ensure their safety and to prevent pregnancy. By making birth control available over the counter, the number of unwanted pregnancies would decrease. Studies have shown that over half of unintended pregnancies are caused by not using contraceptives, or an inconsistent use of birth control. While birth control pills are not always 100% effective, only 5% of women have unintended pregnancies while taking the pill. [1]If birth control methods like the pill were more easily accessible, these numbers would likely decrease dramatically. Teen pregnancy numbers would drop significantly as well. Many believe that teens are not responsible enough to take birth control, and that it should not be so easily accessible to these populations. The reality is, teens will engage in sexual activity whether they have access to birth control or not. By making the pill more accessible, teens will be more likely to use it. There are several forms of contraception that are easily accessible in any CVS or Walgreens pharmacy, but birth control pills are a preferred method for a majority of women. Taking the pill once a day is easy, and gets rid of the stress of having to worry about an unintended pregnancy.

Counter arguments

Birth control pills are not 100% effective. By making the pill available over the counter, many populations would be even more at risk of having an unintended pregnancy. There are many instances where birth control is not taken properly. Directions advise that women take the pill around the same time every day to increase effectiveness. There are many instances where women forget, or take the pill at inconsistent times. The misuse of birth control often leads to unintended pregnancies, and if the pill was made available over the counter without consulting a doctor, more pregnancies would occur while taking the pill.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://birth-control.procon.org
This page was last edited on Friday, 6 Nov 2020 at 15:19 UTC

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