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Over the Counter Birth Control Made Available for First Time

Beginning in late March, the first ever over the counter birth control, Opill, will be available online and in stores. This means that women will no longer have to see a medical professional or get a prescription to get birth control.

While Opill has been on the market since 1973, the Food and Drug Administration just approved it for over the counter sale, meaning that it was proven that it can be taken safely and responsibly without the assistance of a healthcare professional. Opill is 98 percent effective ideally, but is typically 91 percent effective in reality due to error in use.

Many people have been pushing for a contraceptive like this, as over half of the pregnancies in America are unintended. Unintended pregnancies are shown to cause higher risks for the child, as there is usually less prenatal care and higher chances of development issues.

Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade in June 2022 declared  abortion is no longer protected under the Constitution, 80 percent of people say they feel contraceptives, such as birth control, are at risk. With an increasing number of states now banning abortion completely, it is becoming even more imperative that people have access to birth control if they need it.

However, there are around 19 million women living in contraceptive deserts, or areas where they do not have access to birth control. There are also 8 million women in the United States who are uninsured. It is nearly impossible for these people to get a prescription for birth control, much less one that they know will work for them. Opill provides an alternative to those people who cannot afford to raise a child, but also do not have the means to get a prescription for birth control.

Although this pill has the intention of increasing the accessibility to birth control, some complaints have arisen over the pricing of this pill. Opill costs just under $20 a month, and just under $50 for a three month subscription. These prices are more affordable than a doctor’s appointment or other alternatives, but are not widely affordable for many people who may be in need of birth control.

Opill hit the shelves of pharmacies across the country on March 4.
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Sawyer Brown
Sawyer Brown, Staff Writer

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