WASHINGTON (November 20, 2012)—The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, nation's largest group of obstetricians and gynecologists, said Tuesday birth control pills should be sold over the counter, like condoms.
“Even though no drug is risk-free, the overall consensus is that OCs are safe,” the group said in a press release Tuesday.
“There is a risk of blood clots with OC use, but it is extremely low and significantly lower than the risk of blood clots during pregnancy and the postpartum period. The College points out that aspirin and acetaminophen are both available OTC even though they have well-known health risks”
The surprise opinion from contraception's gatekeepers could boost longtime efforts by women's advocates to make the pill more accessible, but no one expects the pill to be sold without a prescription any time soon.
Meanwhile, in El Paso, researchers studied 500 women who regularly crossed the border into Mexico to buy birth control pills, where some U.S. brands sell over the counter for a few dollars a pack.
Those researchers found that over nine months those women stuck with their contraception better than another 500 women who received the pill from public clinics in El Paso.