Iowa’s first female governor says birth control needs to be more accessible for Iowa women. Kim Reynolds laid out her plan during a debate with Democratic challenger Fred Hubbell in Sioux City last week.
“I also will be working with the legislature next year to do what Utah did and make birth control pills available across the state,” Reynolds said during the debate.
She wants pharmacists to be able to give out birth control without patients having to see a doctor.
Reynolds wants to make sure women have fewer barriers to receiving contraceptives in hopes of reducing the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions. But not all pharmacists think that’s the best way to do it.
“I just worry that patients will miss out on their yearly exams and important cancer screenings,” said pharmacist Abby Banks. “If the pharmacist is the one dispensing the meds, they’re not able to provide those life saving exams and screenings that the doctor would be able to do.”
The law Reynolds is proposing is based off similar legislation in Oregon and Utah. In Oregon, pharmacists were trained to identify the need for birth control medication.
“I definitely think that would help to have some kind of training going forward,” Banks said. “But again, I think we still need some kind of protocol so that the patient is still seeing the doctor.”
A similar idea was proposed in Iowa in 2016, but it didn’t pass.