Throughout the year, there’s about 87 million females who unintentionally get pregnant. One of the main causes in pregnancy is the lack of contraceptives and there’s an estimated 220 million women who don’t have access to any. Birth control is one of the 15 different types of contraceptives available to the public. With proper use, birth control can be up to 99.7% effective in preventing pregnancy (‘Contraceptive research and services’). Birth control should be available as an over the counter (OTC) medication due to the fact that it would cause a 7%-25% decrease in unwanted pregnancies, there would be less inconsistencies when taking the medication, and women of all ages would have access to it.
When it comes to taking birth control, there’s many factors that come into play. In order for the pill to be taken correctly, the person has to take it at the same time every day for three weeks and then take a week long break before starting a new pack. Because birth control is usually accessed through a prescription, lots can get in the way of consistently taking the medication. Sometimes you can only get a month or several months worth of medication before having to get a refill but what if your doctor isn’t able to fit you in for an appointment for the next few weeks. What then? With birth control being offered over the counter, you wouldn’t have to wait days or weeks for an appointment just to get handed a slip that allows you to get another month’s worth of medication before you have to go through the whole process over and over again. Users would be able to remain consistent with their schedules and get their medications whenever they’d need it. If birth control were able to become an OTC medicine, it’d help women be able to keep consistent with their schedules.
Less than 1 out of 100 women who effectively take the pill become pregnant each year. With teenagers, 3 out of 10 girls will become pregnant before the age of 20. If birth control were easier to access for all ages, there’d be an insane decline in teen pregnancies. “From 2007 to 2013, the nationwide teen pregnancy rate dropped 36% among 15- to 19-year-olds because of improved contraceptive use” (‘Pros & Cons – ProCon.org’). It’s been proven that teens are more likely to use birth control because it comes more of a daily routine rather than something you can forget such as condoms. Giving teenagers contraceptives at an earlier age wouldn’t necessarily lead towards sex but towards less teen pregnancies. This could also help taxpayers save tons of money. Without unwanted pregnancies, the national abortion rate would decrease drastically. “In a survey of women seeking abortions, 72% said they were pregnant because they could not get the contraception they needed, and 32% reported an institutional reason such as the prescription requirement” (‘Pros & Cons – ProCon.org’). The smartest way to avoid unwanted pregnancies would be to make contraceptives cheaper and easier to access for everyone.
What most people don’t know is that there’s such a thing as hormonal birth control. This type of birth control comes with lots of health benefits. “reduce or prevent anemia, irregular or heavy menstrual cycles, bone thinning, endometriosis, fibroids, acne, ectopic pregnancies, breast and ovarian cysts, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menstrual migraines, pelvic inflammatory disease, and infections in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus” (‘Pros & Cons – ProCon.org’). Many females get prescribed birth control just to be able to control these things about them. Long term health benefits such as these can really help women out and have even changed lives for some.