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You Can Now Get Birth Control from Your Pharmacist

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Access to birth control can change a woman's life—but for most of us, that has meant the yearly hassle of making a doctor's appointment just to get our prescriptions renewed. It's worth it to have more control over our lives and prevent an unplanned pregnancy, but still, it would be nice if the process were a little bit easier.

Now, for women in California and Oregon, it is. They're living that dream thanks to a new bill that allows women to get birth control directly from their pharmacists, no appointment required.

Starting in the next few months, women in those two states can pick up their pills (or rings or patches) after a brief screening by the pharmacist and filling out a medical history and health questionnaire. The process will be similar to how you get your flu shot or other vaccinations at a pharmacy. This is said to be part of a larger push to outsource smaller medical tasks to free up doctors for more serious cases.

"I feel strongly that this is what's best for women's health in the twenty-first century, and I also feel it will have repercussions for decreasing poverty because one of the key things for women in poverty is unintended pregnancy," said State Representative Knute Buehler, a Republican who sponsored Oregon's law. And there are about 6.6 million unintended pregnancies in the United States every year.

The best news: Other states are expected to follow suit, so keep your eyes open for similar legislature where you live. (Find out: Is an IUD the Right Birth Control Option for You?)

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