Birth Control Pills Will Be Sold Over the Counter in New York Pharmacies

contraceptive pills in womans bag

Photo: Moment RF

New Yorkers are set to gain easier access to hormonal birth control. Pharmacies will soon be able to provide a year's supply without a prescription.

On Tuesday (March 19), The New York State Department of Health authorized this measure (which was passed last year by the State Legislature and signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The authorization allows pharmacists to offer three types of hormonal birth control: pills, vaginal rings, and patches, to both residents and out-of-state visitors. In addition, they will provide counseling and information on the medication, as well as educate people about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

This move aims to eliminate barriers to contraception and protect reproductive freedoms, especially as other states impose restrictions.

New York joins a growing list of states, including New Jersey, California, and Oregon, that have embraced similar initiatives. However, New York stands out for its robust support for reproductive care.

Governor Kathy Hochul emphasized the importance of women's autonomy and reproductive rights during a recent press event, highlighting the state's commitment to providing comprehensive healthcare services.

As the nation grapples with increasing abortion restrictions in many states, the availability of contraception becomes even more crucial. Now, Democrats and some Republicans are advocating for federal protections. Though, progress has been hindered at the national level.

New Yorkers can expect to see these changes take effect in pharmacies soon, with around 85% of them anticipated to participate. Additionally, the upcoming November election will include a vote on the Equal Rights Amendment, further solidifying protections for gender-based discrimination and reproductive care in the State Constitution.

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