State lawmakers are considering the passage of a measure that would allow pharmacists to prescribe and dispense birth control in New York and expand access along the way.
The bill has been proposed for the last six years in the state legislature, and New York would be among the nearly two dozen states that have enacted similar policies.
Supporters, including the New York Birth Control Access Project, pointed to studies that have shown the provision having expanded access to younger people or those who are uninsured. The group also pointed to a poll of 500 women surveyed by the organization that found 74% were interested in having a pharmacist prescribe contraception for them.
"Pharmacists having the ability to prescribe birth control will create an unprecedented and game-changing level of access," said Jenna Bimbi, the group's executive director. "That is why nearly 20 states across the country allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control and that is why New York should join those states now by passing this legislation.”
The measure is being called for in the waning days of the legislative session. Lawmakers are scheduled to end their work in Albany for the year on Thursday, June 10.
"Across the country, states are enacting restrictive and punishing policies to erode reproductive rights. New York needs to continue to be a leader in protecting women and expanding reproductive health care at the state level," said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, a sponsor of the bill. "By authorizing pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives, we would put birth control within reach of many who otherwise wouldn't have had access."