Blog Post – OTC Birth Control
August 9, 2023
The fight for sexual freedom has, in the past year, been riddled with devastating losses. HIV remains largely criminalized throughout the U.S. Tennessee enacted a law that LGBTQIA+ advocates view as a “drag ban.” Braidwood v. Becerra eroded the Affordable Care Act and is poised to end free STI screenings, as well as the requirement for insurance plans to cover PrEP. The first “wrongful death” abortion case was filed in Texas. But there are still glimmers of hope for our present and future; we have achieved some meaningful wins.
Today, we’re writing with good news. On July 13, the Food and Drug Administration made history when it approved Opill, a birth control pill, for over-the-counter use. This means that across the U.S., people can access birth control without a prescription.
Increasing accessibility to contraceptives is long overdue. Garnet Henderson recaps the history of birth control, noting that for “as long as there have been humans, there has been birth control.” In 1960, the FDA approved the first oral contraceptive pill; 7 years later, 13 million people worldwide were using the pill. Now, in 2023, OTC birth control is at long last on the horizon.
As we wrote in December 2022, we know that OTC birth control will not resolve the harrowing lack of reproductive justice in the U.S., but it will bring us closer to guaranteeing one of our fundamental human rights. We at the Woodhull Freedom Foundation demand a world where sexual freedom is promoted, celebrated, and accessible to all. OTC birth control will hopefully make us move closer to that reality.