If you live in Utah, you can start skipping a trip to the doctor’s for your birth control pills. Now any women over the age of 18 can get their birth control — including the pill, the patch and other contraceptive methods — straight from their local pharmacist starting May 8.
KSL reports Republican Governor Gary Herbert signed the law on Tuesday.
Women will be asked to sign a form acknowledging the risks associated with birth control. They will then have to check-in with doctors every two years in order to continue receiving their birth control from their pharmacy. The state’s medical and nurse associations applauded the move towards making access to birth control easier for women in Utah.
State Senator Todd Weiler said the following day that such a bill would not have passed five years ago in the state. Weiler originally sponsored the measure and further explained his reasoning.
“People are more accepting of the fact that these things make sense and they actually save the state money,” he said. Since the pharmacists is still technically filling a prescription, birth control will continue to be covered by health insurance. That was part of the measure’s foundation, which was originally proposed by a University of Utah pharmacy grad student, Wilson Pace.
Utah remains a heavily religious and conservative state. KSL reports that 60 percent of Utah residents identify with the Mormon Church, which frowns on abortions but is more lenient when it comes to birth control, which it considers a private matter between married couples.
Utah joins California, Colorado and Oregon as the only states that allow women to get their birth control over-the-counter. The pharmacists in these states “can write and fill the prescription in lieu of a doctor,” according to The Outline.
Starting in May, pharmacists in Utah will be able to do the same for their patients.