Bill would allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control

Acquire DigitalNews

Two state senators are working on separate versions of legislation that seek to accomplish the same thing: giving adult women in Tennessee easier access to birth control.

The legislation would allow women 18 or older to obtain contraceptives from pharmacists in addition to physicians, who currently write prescriptions for birth control.

The contraception bill is coming from two lawmakers on opposite sides of the political aisle — state Sens. Steven Dickerson, R-Nashville, and Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville.

The legislation would put Tennessee ahead of most other states in terms of access to contraceptives. Only two states — Oregon and California — have laws that allow women to obtain contraceptives such as birth control pills, patches and rings by getting a prescription directly from a pharmacist. The practice is lauded as one that is not only more convenient for women but also less expensive than going to a doctor.

Although he has yet to formally file his bill, Dickerson said he plans to introduce the legislation in the coming weeks.

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