Illinois lawmakers turned down a plan that would allow pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraceptive patches and oral contraception to thousand of women.
The proposal from Representative Michelle Mussman would expand who can prescribe contraception beyond doctors to pharmacists. Mussman feels the plan would give low-income women who can’t afford to go to the doctor greater access to contraception.
State Representative CD Davidsmeyer,a member of the House Health Care Licenses committee for the past year-and-a-half, explains why he, and many other committee members, voted against the plan.
“The concern is that there is a lack of access to birth control, which could possibly prevent unwanted births. The discussion was that these pills are not something you could overdose on or have those side effects. A lot of young women I know take these mostly not as birth control, but more as a balance of hormones,” says Davidsmeyer.
Davidsmeyer says the proposal was overwhelming opposed by men, women, Republicans and Democrats for those reasons.
The committee agreed to hear the proposal again, possibly as soon as next week, and Davidsmeyer feels changes will be made to the bill.
“There are certain things that are included in the bill that I appreciate. You must see your doctor at least once in three years. For proper health care we want to make sure people are seeing their doctors more often,” says Davidsmeyer.
Similar legislation has been approved in California and Oregon.