Should Birth Control Pills be Over-the-Counter? - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Should Birth Control Pills be Over-the-Counter?

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An influential group of doctors is calling for birth control pills to be sold without a prescription. That's sparking mixed reaction.

"It will just benefit women in general in their daily life and schedule."

"I think it could also give out the wrong message."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says making it easier to get oral contraceptives should help cut down on unwanted pregnancies.

"We don't want anyone to say, 'oh, I waited for an appointment I couldn't get one. My doctor was too busy,'" says Dr. Jacques Moritz of Roosevelt Hospital.

Doctors say birth control pills carry a small risk - mostly for women with high blood pressure or women who smoke.

"The pill has been shown to be very, very safe. There is a small chance to develop blood clots."

The doctor's group points out aspirin and acetaminophen are on drug store shelves even though they have health risks. But critics say birth control pills can be much more dangerous.

"They make it sound like it's nothing more than an aspirin when it very definitely is more than that. All you have to do is open up the instructions when you buy a package and you see all the health risks that are listed there," says Dr. Janice Shaw.

Others are uneasy about eliminating a doctor's supervision.

"What if something goes wrong and they don't know you're taking birth control pills?"

The ACOG says there are simple checklists women can use to determine if the pill is right for them.

This is just a recommendation at this point. More research would need to be done and the FDA would have to give final approval.

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