American Medical Association (AMA) and a French manufacturer have asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve over-the-counter (OTC) sales of contraceptives. But Dr. Jeff Barrows of the Christian Medical Association says there is good reason why a woman should see a doctor before taking birth control pills.
"She is screened for cervical cancer through the Pap smear," he points out. "She's also screened for other health problems, such as high blood pressure, whether there's any other symptoms happening, as well as sexually-transmitted infections. When you make birth control pills over-the-counter without a prescription, that screening will suddenly disappear, and I think that's a huge mistake."
Dr. Barrows submits the decisions should be made on the basis of medical evidence, and he makes note of another danger to eliminating the doctor visit.
"Expanding over-the-counter access to oral contraceptives would also allow pedophiles, sex traffickers, and abusers to gain access to contraceptives for underage girls, and that will, therefore, help facilitate their ongoing exploitation of minors and abuse," he warns.
Speaking as someone who is familiar with the extent of child sexual exploitation in the U.S., Dr. Barrows reiterates that this is a dangerous suggestion.