Ensuring Women’s Access to Birth Control at Pharmacies isn’t Blocked by Objecting Pharmacists
Seamless access to birth control is a critical health and economic issue for women. Birth control helps reduce unintended pregnancy, which can have negative consequences for both women and their children. When a woman is able to plan if and when to become a parent, she can better secure her future. And yet, barriers continue to impede a woman’s ability to get the birth control method that is right for her and her circumstances. These are the very reasons that the National Women’s Law Center included in our roadmap to economic justice several bills federal legislators could propose to ensure access to birth control.
Last week, Sen. Cory Booker introduced one of those bills to help guarantee women can get their birth control when they need it. The Access to Birth Control Act (ABC Act) protects women in situations where pharmacists refuse to fill their birth control prescription or sell them over-the-counter emergency contraceptives. These refusals to provide birth control are based on the pharmacist’s personal beliefs, not on legitimate medical or professional concerns. For a woman, these refusals can have devastating consequences for her health, can lead to unintended pregnancy, and can have a negative impact on her well-being and economic security. While this is only one step towards ensuring women can access birth control, it is an important one.
Women should not be forced to leave the pharmacy without the birth control they need. The ABC Act will ensure that every woman will be able to leave her pharmacy with her medication in hand and her dignity intact. If you have experienced a pharmacy refusal, please contact the National Women’s Law Center at 1-866-PILL4US.