California Passes Bill for Over-the-Counter Birth Control

by Bekah Ervin

news editor

While Mississippi was passing House Bill 1523, the state of California was working to make contraceptive options more available to its female residents. California women can now receive birth control from the pharmacy, without the doctor’s appointments that were previously required for the prescription.

The change came about with the passing of California Senate Bill 493, which can be read here. The bill passed in 2013, but it has taken nearly three years to implement. The time between passing and implementation was spent creating effective protocols for pharmacists. The state is the second in the nation to execute this type of law, following close behind Oregon.

Not only can a woman receive oral contraception from her pharmacist, but she can also receive contraceptive patches, injections and vaginal rings. The bill also includes the administering of nicotine patches over-the-counter. What should be noted, though, is that the pharmacists must have the consumer fill out a health questionnaire so as to be aware of any red flags that would be helpful in administering a contraceptive, as well as ensuring the health and safety of its user.

After hearing about the recent news, sophomore Millsaps student Emily Hussey was cautiously optimistic about what it could mean for the rest of the country. “I was happy to hear about California’s new bill,” she said. “I believe birth control should be affordable and easily accessible to all women.” She has hopes about the recent enacting of California Senate Bill 493. “Hopefully this will create a ripple effect of positive change in dealing with women’s rights; however, California has always been one of the more progressive states.”

To find out about your states’ women’s reproductive rights, you can visit