(NASHVILLE, Tenn.), January 13, 2016 – State Senator Steven Dickerson (R-Nashville) said today he is introducing legislation that would give women more convenient access to birth control by allowing them to go directly to a pharmacist to get a prescription. The bill would apply to women over the age of 18 and includes pills and potentially hormonal patch contraceptives.
“This legislation aims to provide timely and convenient access for Tennessee women to birth control,” said Senator Dickerson, who is an anesthesiologist. “Requiring a physician’s prescription can be an obstacle to access and effective use, especially among low-income women. One of the barriers for women is the fact they need to go to a doctor’s office to get a prescription. Often, this burdens them with missing work or takes them away from their family.”
Dickerson said the details of the bill are still being worked out, but that it would include providing pharmacists with a “risks list” to ensure patient safety.
“Given the large amount of research on oral contraceptives, I believe women can safely make a decision about these medications,” he added.
Oregon and California were the first states to allow women to buy birth control without a doctor’s prescription. Oregon’s statute has already implemented, while California’s law is expected to take effect in March.