Oregon House Votes to Expand Access to Birth Control

HB 2879 would allow pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives

The Oregon House today voted 50-10 to approve House Bill 2879, which will allow pharmacists to prescribe and dispense hormonal contraceptives and birth control pills, greatly increasing access.

“I believe that we all share the goal of reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, and one of the most effective ways we can do that is to increase access and availability of contraceptives for women across the state from every background,” says Rep. Val Hoyle (D-West Eugene & Junction City), who co-carried the bill on the House floor.

“The research shows that the number of unwanted pregnancies can be decreased specifically by reducing the number of visits to a doctor a woman is required to make and having the next contraceptive dosage immediately in her possession,” Rep. Hoyle added. “House Bill 2879 meets both of those needs.”

The concept for HB 2879 was introduced by Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend), and a bipartisan/bicameral work group was put together to work out the details of the bill to allow it to move and be signed this session.

Rep. Hoyle pointed out that HB 2879 complements an earlier bill that was passed in the House requiring insurance companies to cover 12 months of prescription coverage. While each bill is important on its own, combined they will greatly reduce barriers to this basic health care coverage for women.

Under HB 2879, the State Board of Pharmacy will develop rules governing the practice, in consultation with the Oregon Medical Board, the Oregon State Board of Nursing, and the Oregon Health Authority.

HB 2879 now heads to the Senate for consideration. 

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