Top Pro & Con Arguments

Pro

Birth control pills are safer than many OTC drugs and common activities.

Between 9 and 10.6 million American women use the birth control pill. [1] [2] The Pill carries no risk of overdose or addiction. [3]

According to Bedsider, a nonprofit online birth control network run by doctors, “As medications go, the pill is very safe—safer than having a baby, driving, smoking, or taking daily aspirin.” [4] Joe Speidel, MD, MPH, Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health explains that pregnancy has a mortality rate about the same as car accidents–one in 8,300–while the risk of dying from birth control is about one in 1,667,000, about the same as dying from being struck by lightning. [5]

And other OTC drugs carry more serious risks: non-steroidal pain pills (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen can cause stomach bleeding; Sudafed can raise blood pressure; Tylenol can cause liver toxicity; antihistamines like Benadryl can worsen glaucoma and kidney disease; and diet pills can cause irregular heart beats and raise blood pressure. [6] [7] Eve Espey, MD, MPH, Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of New Mexico, stated, “Nonsteroidal medicines kill far more people than birth-control pills.” [6]

Plan B One-Step and other emergency contraception pills are available without a prescription and share the same active ingredient as daily birth control pills, levonorgestrel, but in a higher dose. [8] [9] The FDA has already indicated the safety of the drug by making Plan B available without prescription.

Of 135 countries for which data are available, 96 countries representing 80.33% of the global population have OTC birth control access. [10]

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