Monday, July 12, 2010
Free The Pill!!
For too long our birth control pills have been held hostage by our doctors. Every year we are forced to lie on an examining table, put our legs in stirrups, and "try to relax."
Finally, there has been some main-stream media discussion of switching these precious little pills to OTC. This means easier access for all women, teens, and tweens! And guess what?!? When more women have access to contraception, there are fewer unplanned pregnancies...which means fewer abortions. I mean, everyone should be behind this! (I know, I know...you anti-choicers who are against everything to do with reproductive freedom are going to be against this...don't worry, I haven't forgotten...waaaa waaaaah).
I admit, as a future physician, I was skeptical at first about having these pills over-the-counter. But as was mentioned in the NY times article, ocps are far safer than many medications already easily available in pharmacies. They are easy to take and do a spectacular job of preventing unwanted pregnancies-better than condoms already available in pharmacies. And, early studies have already shown that women are still going into their doctor's offices to get pap smears, it's just a more pleasant experience when their ocp refill isn't dangling in front of their face...or should I say cervix.
I, ideally, would like to see ocps on the out! They are a great method, but are too burdensome. I hope we develop a more European approach with longer acting methods-like the IUD. After I had trouble getting in to see my doctor and get my damn pap smear, I decided to go with the IUD. Best decision and the #1 birth control method for Ob/Gyns in this country!
But I digress.
In essence, it's time to free the pill. More access=fewer unplanned pregnancies=fewer abortions. I get that you old farts are going to have a hard time with this. Get over it! Times are changing with or without you, and let's face it-you're not getting any younger.