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New Oregon Laws Expand Access to Birth Control

The New Year brings more access to birth control for women in Oregon.
One lawallows pharmacists to prescribe oral and patch contraceptives to women 18 and over.

Elizabeth Steiner Hayward is a Democratic State Senator and a family physician. She co-sponsored the bill with Republican Representative Knute Bhueler, another doctor. Steiner Hayward says doctors are not always available.
Steiner Hayward: “So it’s very easy for women to stop into a pharmacist, do the self-administered questionnaire that’s been proven to screen for any contraindications for oral contraceptives and then have a consultation with a pharmacist and that will dramatically improve access to this very reliable method of contraception.”
Oregon and California are the first states to pass laws allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control.
Another new Oregon law for 2016 requires insurance to cover a full year of birth control.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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