BAY CITY, Mich. (WJRT) - Birth control users in our state can now pick up contraceptives at their local pharmacy.
As of today, there are new opportunities to get access to contraceptives. Until now, Michigan women had to have a doctor's prescription for birth control.
It's a change announced by Governor Whitmer that means pharmacists would team up with doctors to provide the medication.
"It's a lot nicer that it's so much more accessible for everyone,” said local college student Molly Hereza.
The governor has cut out the middle man, and women will be able to come to a participating pharmacy for hormonal birth control. The health expert we spoke to today said this is a step in the right direction for Michigan women.
“I think that anytime we can increase access for women, that's a good thing,” said ” said Medical Director at Saginaw County Health Department Delicia Pruitt.
The hormonal birth control that can be obtained from a pharmacy includes the pill, an oral contraceptive, the patch, or the ring.
“You can get the refill faster, quicker, easier,” Pruitt said.
Pharmacies have a choice whether or not to partner with a doctor to participate.
“My doctor's office is always so booked up, I have to wait until like December before I can have an appointment,” Hereza said.
This comes as part of the Governor's directive to assess opportunities to increase protections for reproductive health care and will provide more flexibility to women.
“We want to ask ourselves -- do we have the processes in place so people can get the family planning that they deserve? And if we don't, then let's join with our pharmacist colleagues to see how we can make that happen,” Pruitt said.
The local pharmacies that we spoke with today told us the effort is still fairly new and they're just learning about it and that they need to take some time to figure out the stipulations and potential contracts will work.
This expansion of birth control access comes as our state prepares to vote on whether or not to legalize abortion.
Michigan joins 20 other states that let pharmacies prescribe birth control.