People are arguing that birth control should be available without a prescription and amen to that
If you head to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, there’s a very important, timely discussion going down about birth control. People are using the hashtag #FreeThePill to argue that the pill should be available without a prescription and they’re offering airtight arguments for their case.
This initiative was started by the nonprofit Ibis Reproductive Health and they chose to kick off the hashtag on May 9, nearly sixty years since the FDA approved the birth control pill.
“We’re ready for a future where all of us can get birth control without unnecessary obstacles. Today, we’re talking about how we can #FreeThePill!” Ibis Reproductive Health tweeted. “A prescription means a trip to the doctor and taking time away from work or other responsibilities. But the birth control pill is safe & effective for over-the-counter use. It’s time to #FreeThePill.”
We're ready for a future where all of us can get birth control without unnecessaryobstacles. Today, we're talking about how we can #FreeThePill!
— Ibis Reproductive Health (@IbisRH) May 9, 2019
NARAL Pro-Choice America hopped into the discussion, adding that women are burdened with financial responsibilities when it comes to birth control, like paying for the doctor’s visit, taking time off work to go to the doctor, and paying for transportation to get to said doctor.
Right now, there are a lot of extra costs that come with getting a prescription for birth control:
👉 doctor’s visit
👉 time off work
👉 transportation to appointments and pharmacy
— NARAL (@NARAL) May 9, 2019
That’s not all. There were a whole lot more very good arguments for why birth control shouldn’t require a prescription. Also, one person very wisely pointed out that people who are so concerned about women getting abortions should probably be throwing themselves behind the #FreeThePill movement and pushing for safe sex and accessible birth control. Otherwise, that’s some hypocrisy right there.
If you want fewer abortions and insist that only women are responsible for pregnancy as if men have nothing to do with how women get pregnant, then you should be fighting for birth control access for women.
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) May 9, 2019
Others reinforced the idea that “freeing” the pill would cut down on unnecessary appointments and would encourage people who are not currently using contraception to start using contraception.
Making the pill over-the-counter would mean patients wouldn’t have to come in for unnecessary appointments, taking up their time. Patients know their bodies well enough and should be able to pick up their pills—as many packs as they need—from their pharmacy shelves. #FreeThePill https://t.co/qnQqyK5QvI
— Dr. Daniel Grossman (@DrDGrossman) May 9, 2019
1 in 4 adults & teens not currently using contraception said they would be interested in using an over-the-counter birth control. I believe in #FreeThePill because easily accessible birth control is a necessary part of a robust reproductive healthcare system that serves everyone
— Johanna Butler (@johanna_butler) May 9, 2019
Another good reason to make the pills available without prescription? There are a lot of women who need this pill for debilitating cramps and other health concerns. They deserve easily accessible treatment.
“In addition to pregnancy prevention, the pill can help reduce pain and heavy bleeding with periods, prevent acne and anemia, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and more,” Free The Pill’s website noted. “A study in the medical journal The Lancet showed that over the last 50 years the pill has prevented 100,000 deaths from ovarian cancer, and is estimated to prevent at least 30,000 new diagnoses every year worldwide.”
If you’d like to lend your voice to this movement, there are a couple of quick, easy ways you can get involved. Add your name to this list to get updates on #FreeThePill, tweet your own thoughts using the hashtag, or share your story with the organization so they can feature your voice on their site.