Top Pro & Con Arguments


Women are responsible and knowledgeable enough to care for their own bodies.

Alison Block, physician, said: “My main philosophy as someone who provides reproductive health care is to trust women to make their own decisions. The idea that they have to [have a] conversation with a doctor to decide which method is best for them seems overly paternalistic and unnecessary.” [30]

Often, doctors will only prescribe birth control pills once a patient has visited and had a pelvic exam. However, Pap smears are now recommended every three years instead of every year, and only after a woman has turned 21. Nancy Stanwood, MD, obstetrician and Board Chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health, stated, “We were holding pregnancy prevention hostage to cancer screening [Pap smears]. They’re both worthwhile goals, but one should not be held hostage to the other.” [31]

Women can sort out for themselves whether hormonal birth control is right for them. In one study, 98% of women matched their doctors’ medical evaluations about whether they could use hormonal birth control. The women were more cautious about contraindications (medical reasons not to take a drug) such as headaches, smoking, and potential pregnancy than their doctors were. The Border Contraceptive Access Study found that women who got the Pill OTC from a pharmacy in Mexico were adequately self-screening for contraindications. [32] [33]

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