Will the courts take away the FDA-approved over-the-counter birth control pill?

Key Takeaways

  • The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first over-the-counter birth control pill in the United States. 

  • The medication is called Opill and is expected to become available from stores and online retailers in the United States in early 2024. 

The Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the first over-the-counter birth control pill in the United States will increase access to contraception and give people more control over their reproductive future, Northeastern University experts say. 

“It’s a big deal,” says Kathy Simmonds, a clinical professor in the School of Nursing and expert on reproductive justice. “It’s really a bright spot in a dark time, because in terms of reproductive justice, much of what we want to see happening is increasing access to services and supplies that allow people to control their own reproductive destinies. Given what’s been happening nationally, that’s not the trend.”

That trend, however, makes the approval also a bit uncertain—particularly given the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which outlawed the constitutional right to an abortion.

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