Letters to the Editor

California birth control law is a win-win for all women

Dr. Kathleen Besinque, USC School of Pharmacy, helped draft legislation allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control in 2013. The law went into effect April 8 and allows women to buy birth control at pharmacies without a prescription.
Dr. Kathleen Besinque, USC School of Pharmacy, helped draft legislation allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control in 2013. The law went into effect April 8 and allows women to buy birth control at pharmacies without a prescription. Los Angeles Times/TNS

Thanks to Soumya Karlamangla for her article (“Doubts remain as birth control is more available,” April 9), which sheds light on the law that was put into effect April 8 — allowing women and girls in California to pick up hormonal contraceptives at pharmacies without first seeing a doctor.

Although some are wary of this law — concerned that patients will not receive health screenings as they would at a doctor’s office or be provided with sufficient background information regarding the drugs — pharmacists are required to warn patients against the potential side effects of their chosen contraceptives, highlight of the importance of health screenings, warn that birth control doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases and dole out birth control fact sheets.

Ultimately, this modification to the process of acquiring contraceptives in California will increase access to birth control for all ages, therefore reducing the number of unintended pregnancies — a win-win for all.

Nathalie Coletta, Paso Robles

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