Citizens split on oral contraceptives without a prescription in NH - 360 participants

Feb 01, 2015

Although regulation of prescription and over the counter medications is controlled by the Food and Drug Administration, many health organizations and women's rights advocacy groups suggest oral contraceptives (OCs) be made available without a prescription. In light of NH Sen. Andy Sanborn’s introduction of a bill (SB 36) that would allow NH pharmacies to dispense oral contraceptives (OCs), the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) asked Facebook members for their opinion.

In answering the question, “Should oral contraceptives be available in NH without a prescription?” 52% of respondents who directly answered the question opposed the idea with 48% for it. 24% of all respondents, however, discussed the subject in broader terms. In sum, the LFDA received specific comments from 110 individuals supported by 254 concurrences for a total of 360 citizen responses.

Safety was the central concern for those against the idea that OC’s be made available in NH without a prescription, as many cited the possibility for serious side effects. “There are many varieties of birth control pills and you never know which one will work for your body,” said one woman. One respondent added, “You need a medical professional to help you find the dosage that is right for your body chemistry, age, background, and other medical issues.”

For those in favor of OC’s without a prescription, many cited reduced long-term costs to society. Others compared the pros and cons of OC’s without a prescription to problems that could arise from unwanted pregnancies, while some directly linked the two. “[Oral contraceptives] prevent unwanted pregnancies,” remarked one respondent. “Regardless of where one stands on the abortion issue, this is smart policy.” Several respondents, however, argued against the idea that OC’s are unsafe, as one respondent claimed, “Pills have been prescribed since the 60s—they are safe.

According to respondents who elected to not provide a “yes” or “no” answer to the question posed by the LFDA, the use of OC’s in general brings up other issues, as many debated the merits of planned parenthood. Several respondents also touched on abstinence, as one woman said, “You promote sex to anyone and anyone that can buy the pill…Teach your kids abstinence.”

Click here to see the full Facebook discussion of this question.

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