New Oregon Law Will Allow Pharmacists to Dispense Contraceptives Without a Prescription

Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a bill this week authorizing the state’s pharmacists to provide women over 18 with a 12-month supply of hormonal and oral contraceptives without a doctor’s prescription.

California is the only other state with a similar law on the books, but it has not yet been implemented.

“Oregon is now the easiest place in the nation for women to access birth control,” state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend), the Republican sponsor of the bill, noted in a statement on Monday.

Buehler, a physician specializing in hip and knee surgery, said he introduced the bill because only emergency contraception is currently available over the counter without a prescription.

Under the legislation, which will go into effect next year, women over the age of 18 who want to buy contraceptives without first seeing a doctor will first have to complete a self-administered risk assessment, which includes filling out a questionnaire and going to counseling. Women would also be initially limited to a three-month supply to make sure there are no adverse reactions to the drugs.