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North Carolina bill to allow birth control without prescription

The bill passed in August goes into effect Tuesday
Birth control. Picture good for 30 day use from 5-28-2021.
Birth control. Picture good for 30 day use from 5-28-2021.(AP News)
Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 8:33 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV) - On Tuesday, women in North Carolina will no longer need a doctor’s prescription for hormonal birth control.

The new law was passed in August by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature and signed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The bill goes into effect Feb. 1.

View The Bill Here

Birth control pills and patches will be able to be supplied by pharmacists qualified to give vaccines without the signature of a patient’s doctor. The patient must complete an assessment with the Centers for Disease Prevention’s United States Medical Eligibility Criteria (US MEC).

The new law could help shrink North Carolina’s 44-percent unplanned pregnancy rate.

Backers of the bill hope it also eliminates some of the barriers like the cost and time of going to the doctor that prevents some women from getting the health care they need.

A prescription will still be necessary for emergency contraception.

The law also allows qualified pharmacists to give prenatal vitamins, nicotine replacement therapy, HIV prevention medications and glucagon for treatment of severe hypoglycemia.

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