Access to Birth Control Act
Men and women in this country have relied on birth control for years in order to make their personal, reproductive decisions, and not surprisingly, 98% of women use contraceptives at some point in their lives. Yet there have been increasing reports of pharmacists refusing to sell birth control based on their own personal beliefs. The refusals have been widespread and have been documented in at least 19 states. Pharmacists have refused to sell contraception to men and women who were young and old; married and single; with children and without. In some cases, pharmacists have kept and refused to transfer a prescription, refused to sell over-the-counter emergency contraception, or given the customer false medical information about the requested birth control. Four states even have laws that allow pharmacists to refuse to provide contraception based on personal beliefs.
Access to birth control is a fundamental right which should not be subject to interference by pharmacists. When customers are seeking emergency contraception, a pharmacist’s refusal can be an insurmountable barrier to accessing the contraception within the limited timeframe. Nearly 8 out of 10 Americans believe that a pharmacist should be required to fill prescriptions for birth control, even if they have a religious objection.
The Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act will protect an individual’s access to legal birth control. It will require pharmacies to fill a valid prescription for birth control in a timely manner, and to provide over-the-counter emergency contraception. This legislation will stop pharmacists from infringing on the rights of individuals in this country by making pharmacy refusals illegal.
07/26/2011 - H.R. 2659, Access to Birth Control Act [112th Congress]
04/19/05 - Examples of Pharmacy Refusals