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Birth Control Access at Pharmacies


Pharmacies should fill all birth control prescriptions without delay or judgment.

For the 99 percent of women who will use contraception during their lifetimes, birth control is basic, essential health care.

A woman should be able to get her birth control prescription filled at any pharmacy.

But some pharmacists refuse to fill birth control prescriptions and won’t relinquish prescriptions they’ve been handed. While some states have “refusal laws” that allow pharmacists to deny birth control to a woman if they do not support the use of contraception, in most states pharmacists simply refuse. There are no protections for women in this situation.

Our nation’s laws have always protected freedom of religion—but not the right to impose one’s religious beliefs on others. Women should not have to fear being turned away, lectured or humiliated at the pharmacy counter when they go to pick up birth control.

Pharmacies should fill all birth control prescriptions without delay or judgement.

Eight in 10 Americans say pharmacists who personally oppose birth control for religious reasons should not be able to refuse to sell oral contraceptives to women. Even 74 percent of abortion opponents disagree with giving pharmacists this refusal power.1

Lawmakers can address this situation by passing laws that guarantee women can have their birth control prescriptions filled at any pharmacy without delay or interference. Some states already have taken action by requiring pharmacies to fill legal birth control prescriptions.


1 Fact Sheet: Guarantee Women’s Access to Birth Control

Fact Sheets


Current Refusal Laws
Emergency Contraception: An Important Contraceptive Option
Guarantee Women’s Access to Birth Control
More Reports & Fact Sheets

Current State Laws: Birth Control Access at Pharmacies


These are the only states that guarantee women’s birth-control prescriptions will be filled.

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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