JEFFERSON CITY - Women would not have to get a doctor's prescription to obtain birth control pills under a bill presented to the House Emerging Issues Committee.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Sheila Solon, R-Jackson County, who described the bill as a pro-life advocate bill.
Solon said that women would benefit from the bill.The measure would allow a pharmacist to dispense contraceptives without a medical doctors prescription.
Rep. Jack Bondon, R-Belton, had questions about the health of women if they are not seeing their doctor annually. He asked if a pharmacist is able to prescribe medications that affect every woman differently.
"I recall there being some serious health side effects to some of these medicines," Bondon said. "Could you assuage any concerns that someone may have that, without the oversight of a doctor...that we may be putting women in danger?"
Solon said that the state's pharmacy association was not opposed to the bill and that there would be specific guidelines that the pharmacist would have to follow to provide contraceptive drugs.
"The pharmacist has to complete a training program...and does the things the doctor does," Solon said. "And all medications have risk...nothing is 100 percent risk free, but this isn't something new. It's been around for fifty-five years."
Among those testifying in support of the bill was a state Planned Parenthood representative, M'Evie Mead. Mead stated that Planned Parenthood is in support because the bill would help further its goal to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
"It is part our mission to increase access to birth control because the evidence shows that it improves peoples' lives." Mead said.
The committee did not take immediate action on the measure.