Top Pro & Con Arguments


OTC birth control pills would increase access for low-income and medically underserved populations.

Twenty million women live in “contraception deserts,” places with one clinic or fewer per 1,000 women who need government-funded birth control from programs such as Medicare. In underserved communities, women could more easily find a local drug store for medication than a doctor’s office. 11-21% of sexually active low-income women studied were more likely to use the Pill if it were available OTC. [11] [12] [13]

Denicia Cadena, Policy Director for Young Women United in New Mexico, stated: “Our rural communities are most profoundly impacted by our state’s health care and provider shortages. Patients face three- to six-month wait times for any primary care and even longer for specialty care… 11 of the state’s 33 counties have no obstetrics and gynecology physicians.” [3]

Birth control can be difficult for many women to obtain, particularly teens, immigrants, women of color, and the uninsured. The National Latina Institute of Reproductive Health stated: “over-the-counter access will greatly reduce the systemic barriers, like poverty, immigration status and language, that currently prevent Latinas from regularly accessing birth control and results in higher rates of unintended pregnancy.” [3] [14]

Other medically underserved communities, such as LGBTQ+ people, are likely to be uninsured (16% of all LGBTQ people making less than $45,000 per year are uninsured), more likely to face economic barriers to healthcare (29% postponed necessary medical care and 24% postponed preventative screenings due to cost), and are more likely to face discrimination in the healthcare industry, resulting in less or no reproductive healthcare. [15] [16] [22]

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