Birth Control Pills Could Soon Be Sold Over The Counter

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Women might be a step closer to getting their hands on birth control without ever having to step foot inside a doctors office. It's a controversial new move that would allow women to buy birth control over the counter and while it may sound convenient, some doctors say you could be putting your life at risk.

"I think it should still be prescribed by a physician after your yearly exam," Odessa Resident, Christine Jones, said. 

"Birth control over the counter it would be very easy or easier to get," Odessa Resident, Kyeisha Galindo, said.

Currently the only birth control pill sold over the counter is Plan B, also known as the morning after pill. OBGYN Dr. Norman Harris says although women might be saving money, in the long run, it could cost them their lives.     

"She's certainly going to save on office visit, gonna save blood work, gonna save money on an annual pap smear but it may be petty pound foolish in the long run," Harris said.
According to Dr. Harris, the possible selling of birth control over the counter can have a negative impact on women's health. Harris fears women would be skipping out on breast exams and pap smears, which neither should be taken lightly.

"I think that's a given, if this happens there's gonna be a lot of ladies that may be showing up with undiagnosed true cancer of the cervix, not the early stages of viral caused abnormalities with pap smears but I mean we are talking the real kinda killer cancer," Dr. Harris said. 
Galindo says as long as women take precautions, he doesn't believe there shouldn't be a      
problem in selling the contraceptives without a prescription.

"At least go get checked by a doctor before going and buying something they don't know about," Galindo said.

Jones says this isn't a step backwards in women's issues, but feels if approved, women's health would be taking a backseat.
"They're trying to make it look like a positive thing because their thing is they are going to prevent unwanted pregnancies but they are not going to prevent unwanted diseases," Jones said. 
Dr. Harris says if birth control pills are approved to be sold over the counter, women should not skip their annual exams.