CHICAGO – State Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, is sponsoring legislation that would expand women’s access to comprehensive health care by allowing pharmacists to prescribe contraceptive medicine.
“There is a great deal of uncertainty among women across the country because the president is attempting to restrict women’s health care choices,” said Harper. “Limiting and restricting access to health care can have serious consequences, which this legislation would help prevent. I want to see a health care system that quickly and efficiently addresses the needs of women and not one that steadily eliminates rights.”
House Bill 274 would expand a pharmacist’s role in increasing access to health care by prescribing hormonal contraceptives that can be taken orally or via patch. Harper believes that this bill is necessary because it would help poor and low-income women who do not have the adequate time and funds to visit a doctor go to a local pharmacist and receive their health care services.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, an organization dedicated to promoting reproductive health rights, unintended pregnancy rates are highest among poor and low-income women who rely on low-cost contraceptive measures. By allowing pharmacists to prescribe these services to women in need, avoiding unwanted or unintended pregnancies can occur instead of regularly occurring.
“Most of the people in my district do not have the luxury of talking to a doctor for their health care services and rely services that does not bankrupt them. We know that limiting contraceptive measures has not helped reduce unintended or unwanted pregnancies, so we should not pretend to think that this time it will,” said Harper. “Instead, by granting access and ease to women who are in need of immediate attention, we can slow down unintended pregnancy rates and further help reduce potential abortions.”