By: Aletha Y. Akers
For mothers who have ever used birth control, you probably have had the experience of realizing your prescription was about to run out. If so, you may have also had your stomach sink to the floor when you realize you may have to call your doctors office and hope they can just call in the prescription and not make you schedule an appointment to come into the office.
Well, at least 9 states have made it much easier to get a prescription for birth control by allowing your pharmacist to prescribe it without waiting for the doctor to do so. This is a huge win for women! No more panicking that your birth control may run out leaving you at risk for an unplanned pregnancy.
Adolescent girls can also benefit greatly from these laws. Adolescent girls often use birth control medicines for many reasons. Some use them for birth control, but many others use it for managing menstrual problems (also known as ‘period’ problems), like cramps, heavy periods or unpredictable periods.
In a recent blog post for International Day of the Girl, Ms. Ava Skolnik of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia wrote about these new laws and how they could benefit the lives of adolescent girls. You can read more about it here.
Although only a few states have passed these laws, knowing that such laws may be expanding to more states should prompt parents and non-parental caregivers to do the following:
- Talk with your young person so they know when, where and how to seek birth control medicine. For more information, check out this part on our site to help you locate a clinic.
- Talk with your young person so they know what birth control medicine can be used for. These medicines not just for preventing pregnancy, but also for managing period problems.
- Talk with your young person so they know their rights. In all 50 states, young people have the right to access reproductive health services confidentially. But, these rights vary by state. Know the laws in your state by going here.
Talking to your young person about these topics makes sure they have the information they need to make a healthy decision about using birth control medication when the need arises.