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Ore. Governor Signs Another Bill To Improve Contraceptive Access

July 8, 2015 — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) has signed a bill (HB 2879) into law that permits women to obtain contraception without a prescription from a physician, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 7/6).

Oregon is the second state to enact such a measure (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/22). Recently, Brown also signed another bill (HB 3343) that requires insurers to cover a 12-month supply of contraception in a single batch (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/15).

Law Details

HB 2879 permits pharmacists to dispense oral contraceptives or hormonal patches to women after they complete a 20-question risk assessment. In addition, pharmacists are allowed to prescribe birth control to a woman under age 18 if contraception previously has been prescribed to her by a traditional provider.

Under the measure, the state Health Authority and state Board of Pharmacists are required to develop rules to ensure pharmacists safely prescribed the contraceptives. The rules will involve brief training sessions, the risk assessment and notification of a patient's primary care physician.

State Rep. Knute Buehler (R), the bill's sponsor, has noted that contraceptives still will be covered under individuals' health plans (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/22).