In Oregon, No Doctor Needed for Birth Control Prescriptions

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The temporary appearance of the Bundy clan notwithstanding, Oregon is a pretty cool state. Starting this year, women in Oregon can get hormonal contraceptives directly from a pharmacy—no doctor’s prescription required. The New York Times provides the details:

These birth control methods — which include pills, patches and rings — will still require prescriptions (so they are not technically over the counter), but now pharmacists who complete the Oregon training protocol can issue those prescriptions directly. At the pharmacy, women must complete a 20-question self-assessment so that pharmacists can determine which hormonal methods might be appropriate and safe. About 200 pharmacists in Oregon have completed the training so far and an aide to the bill’s sponsor said that most of the major chain pharmacies, including Rite Aid, Costco and Walgreens, have signed agreements to train a significant number of pharmacists.

….Under the Affordable Care Act, all prescription birth control is covered by insurance. The only possible additional cost is a one-time or annual fee of $25 or so for the assessment services provided by the pharmacist. It is possible that insurers will cover that fee, but that is yet to be determined.

Good for Oregon. Making contraceptives more easily available leads to more consistent use, which in turn makes them more effective. Every state should do this.

And California, which is also a pretty cool state, is following suit later this year. Unlike Oregon, which requires a doctor to write the first prescription for women under 18, California’s law has no age restriction at all. In the contest for coolness, California will soon be taking the lead.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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