Contact: Representative Melissa Sargent
MADISON –Representative Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) issued the following statement to announce the release of LRB-3281/2, which permits pharmacists the ability to prescribe hormonal contraceptives and increases equitable access to birth control for Wisconsin women:
“I am committed to ensuring that contraceptives are as accessible as possible for Wisconsin women, and that we remove any and all barriers that work to impede a woman’s ability to receive safe and effective birth control methods. This week Republican lawmakers released LRB-0325, a bill appearing similar to AB-968 that I have championed in past sessions, which would allow pharmacists to prescribe certain hormonal contraceptives without a physician. Unfortunately, in some ways, the changes that my Republican colleagues have made to this legislation continue to constrain the reproductive rights of Wisconsin women.
As such, I am introducing LRB-3281/2. I, along with many of my Democratic colleagues, have been working hard to find the best and most pragmatic solutions to increase access to contraceptives, reduce unplanned pregnancy, remove barriers to equitable reproductive health, and uphold the rights of women in making personal healthcare decisions. Unlike LRB-0325, LRB-3128/2 does the following:
- Does not place an age restriction on the prescribing and dispensing of hormonal contraceptives by a pharmacist.
- Allows pharmacists to prescribe more forms of hormonal contraceptives, including injectable progestin and self-administered vaginal rings.
- Prohibits a pharmacist from requiring a scheduled appointment for the prescribing and dispensing of a contraceptive.
- Requires the training of pharmacists in prescribing and dispensing hormonal contraceptives.
- Directs pharmacists to refer the patient to a primary care practitioner or women’s health practitioner and provides them with written record and advisement to consult with their healthcare practitioner, but does not require pharmacists to report to the patient’s primary care practitioner.
Allowing pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives is a necessary and important step for our state, and we must take this issue more seriously than as a rhetorical Republican talking point. Access to birth control is a right, and we must work to ensure that all women in our communities who wish to use contraceptives have access. My bill aims to do just that, by expanding access without creating any further hoops that women are expected to jump through and removing the artificial barriers that women seeking these public health services face.
By allowing pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraceptives, we can improve women’s health, prevent unplanned pregnancies, and decrease medical costs. Women have the right to unfettered access to contraceptives, and this bill works to and create further accessibility for all Wisconsin women.”