As the 2019 Legislative Session came to an end yesterday, March 9th, 2019, House Bill 2583 is one of the many bills placed on Governor Jim Justice’s desk waiting to be signed into law.
HB 2583, or better know as the “Family Planning Access Act” is crafted to help increase women’s access to birth control in the state.
This will allow women who are 18 and older, the option to receive contraceptives over the counter at their pharmacy without a prescription from their primary physician.
Bill lobbyists said it makes the routine hassel-free.
WVFREE Communications Director, Julie Wardner said, “women face so many barriers, whether it’s they move a lot, they may live in rural West Virginia, they may just be busy with life and family and jobs. This bill will actually let women focus on other things other than trying to get to a doctor and trying to get to the pharmacy, trying to do all of these things so they can do the one thing they want ot do which is simply avoid an unintended pregnancy.”
Some physicians agree it’s a good idea, however have their concerns with women following up regularly with their preventitive care.
OB-GYN, Dr. David Patton said, “a lot of times the only reason why women come in for their appointment is to refill their birth control, and that’s when they get their pap smear, that;s when they get their exam and if some how they can avoid that, because let’s face it, noone likes to go in for their GYN exam, no one, and if they can avoid that, I understand, they’re going to avoid it.”
Some other concerns Patton forsees is potential pharmacy hopping and an uptick in deep vein thrombosis (blood clotting) and cervical cancer.
If passed into law, bill sponsors will work alongside agencies for implementation such as, pharmacist training, required risk assessments and in-person reproductive health counseling.
If signed in to law, West Virginia will be the tenth state to have this type of legislation.