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5 reasons why we should free the pill, like, yesterday

Birth control should be over the counter. Period.

Let’s use our imaginations a little, shall we? Let’s imagine a world where things are getting progressively easier for people with uteruses instead of harder. Where policies are in place that support all people’s ability to determine if and when to start a family. Where everyone has access to the tools they need to take care of their bodies in the ways they want to. Where privilege isn’t the price of entry for reproductive freedom. Where birth control is easy to get.

This is the world that we, personally, would prefer to live in, and it’s the world we’re trying to build. That’s why we’re part of Free the Pill, a campaign to make the birth control pill available over the counter (OTC), meaning without a prescription. We’re presenting you with our top 5 reasons why the pill should be OTC in the hopes that you’ll join the movement too.

1. It’s safe and effective

It’s the same birth control you know and love, only you don’t have to have a prescription to get it. It’s as safe as other medications that are sold over the counter, and it meets the FDA’s criteria for over-the-counter sale.

2. It saves you time and money

It can be super hard to get to the doctor (or other health care provider) even under relatively easy circumstances. And it’s even harder when you’re working multiple jobs, working while in school, have kids and don’t have childcare, can’t afford the copay, don’t have money for gas or other transportation, or face other very common barriers. Birth control shouldn’t just be for people with privilege. You shouldn’t need to have lots of money and free time to control your own reproductive future.

3. It gives you more control

Ready to go on birth control? Great! Why should there be ten roadblocks to overcome between you and your first pill? Imagine if you could simply go to the pharmacy and pick it up like you would condoms, allergy meds, or ibuprofen. You’d never have to worry about running out because your prescription expired and you couldn’t get in to see your health care provider for a week.

4. Health care providers think it’s a good idea

Prominent medical associations like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Family Physicians agree that birth control should be available over the counter.

5. It’s already over the counter all over the world

The United States is behind much of the rest of the world on this issue. The birth control pill is OTC in over 100 countries around the world.

Feeling inspired to take action on this issue? There’s plenty you can do to make your voice heard.

Lauren Kernan is the Director of Content and UX Strategy at Bedsider. In her spare time, she makes paper flowers for her Etsy shop, reads about body positivity, and watches videos of her nephew over and over.

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