Target: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Goal: Thank the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for taking a bold step and publicizing their opinions that birth control should be available over the counter
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (OB/GYNs) is recommending that oral contraceptives be sold over the counter without a prescription. They are comfortable publicly stating their opinion because there is now a large body of evidence that documents the safety and effectiveness of the pill, as well as research showing that women are interested in receiving it over the counter.
Approximately half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Making birth control pills available over the counter will reduce these numbers drastically. Costs and access to contraceptives are among the most common reasons why women either do no use contraception or have gaps in use.
While this is monumental progress, there is still along way to go. The American College of OB/GYNs acknowledge that there are risks associated with this change in policy. Using the pill can increase a patient’s risk of blood clots and stroke, and selling the medication over the counter would most likely reduce the chance that a woman would be screened by a doctor. However, many studies have shown that women may be able to self-screen for these conditions using a simple questionnaire.
The American College of OB/GYNs hopes that its recommendations will motivate a pharmaceutical company to take the next step. These companies are required to submit an application to the Food and Drug Administration to begin the approval process for making a medication available over the counter. In a statement, the Food and Drug Administration has said it is willing to meet with any pharmaceutical company that may want to switch its product to over-the-counter status.
This monumental decision could mean big changes in the world of contraceptives. Sign the petition to thank the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for paving the way to make birth control available over the counter.
Dear American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists,
I would like to thank you for publicizing your opinion that birth control should be available over the counter. This was the first step in a long process, and your approval will incite pharmaceutical companies to take the next step as well.
As you know, making birth control more accessible will cut down on the number of unwanted pregnancies and make getting the pill more convenient for women. Thank you for your efforts in furthering the approval of making birth control available over the counter.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Stephanie A. Andropolis