Birth Control Is Now Available Over The Counter in Oregon

Birth control pills (Salon)

Birth control pills (Salon)

Good news for those who may not have insurance, or don’t want to visit the doctor: Birth control is (slowly) becoming available over-the-counter at your nearest pharmacy. That’s right, soon (depending on where you live) you won’t need a prescription.

Right now, the service is only available in Oregon, and it kicked into effect Jan. 1st of this year. Here’s how it works: A woman can walk into her local pharmacy, and fill out a questionnaire about her health. If all systems go, she can get birth control. If the pharmacist refuses to supply her on the grounds of religious reasons, the pharmacist is required to provide suggestions as to where the customer can find birth control.

This all applies if the woman is over 18 years old. If she’s under 18, she’ll still need a doctor’s prescription, though this standard will be relaxed at some point in the future.

It’s also pretty significant that a woman signed this into law: Oregon’s governor Kate Brown signed the bill into law last July.

But Oregon might not be the only state with this law in place for long: California is working out its own law, which is set to go into effect in March. And Colorado and Washington have introduced similar laws within their own respective states. Let’s hope the other 46 states soon see the light and follow suit.

 

Advertisements

Sodomy Laws in the US: By The Numbers

US Sodomy Laws by Year of Repeal/Struck Down

US Sodomy Laws by Year of Repeal/Struck Down

While many states are passing laws allowing gay marriage, some areas regarding sexuality are still in the Dark Ages: Fourteen states still have laws on the books banning sodomy. And these laws aren’t just for the LGBT crowd; they’re for everyone, regardless of orientation.

Contrary to popular belief equating sodomy with only anal sex, these laws can also cover oral sex, and certain sexual acts between homosexual couples, unmarried heterosexual couples and even married couples.

Though these “crimes against nature” laws were invalidated in 2003 with the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court case, some remain, and are still enforced, in certain states.

How common are these laws? Let’s take a look:

Number of states with active sodomy laws: 14

Number of states outlawing anal sex: 27

Number of states outlawing oral sex: 24

Number of states outlawing both anal and oral sex: 24

Number of states with laws including certain acts between homosexual couples: 27

Number of states with laws including certain acts between unmarried heterosexual couples: 20

US Sodomy Laws by Year of Repeal/Struck Down

US Sodomy Laws by Year of Repeal/Struck Down

Number of states with laws including certain acts between married couples: 16

 

If you’d like more information, Wikipedia has a very helpful matrix.