Letter: Wrong way to expand access to contraception

Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Wrong way to expand access to contraception

House Bill 1822 was voted down in our House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee. The bill would have legislated liability for doctors who would issue “standing orders” for contraceptives to be distributed by pharmacists. Several of us had concerns about problems with the bill and voted against passage. We are ardent supporters of a woman’s access to reproductive health care, but this bill was problematic for several reasons.

Our committee has heard testimony that pharmacists are already being asked to do too much, working long hours, resulting in pill count errors and other problems.

Access to high-quality reproductive health care is important for women. We are concerned that this bill would result in adverse events because an important step in pre-screening and careful consultation with women about contraception would be compromised leaving overloaded pharmacists to screen and consult with women about important decisions.

We are also concerned that the quality of education and assessment will suffer due to the heavy workload of the pharmacists. Most women may consider multiple approaches to birth control over the course of their reproductive lives. Contraception is not a “one size fits all” decision and women should be able to discuss these options at length with a health care provider.

We will be looking forward to passing other bills that would provide expanded access for women to reproductive health care that does not create other problems in the process.