Assemblymember Amy Paulin Passes Bill to Increase Contraception Access

Albany, NY – Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) announced that the New York State Assembly has passed her legislation (A.1060A), the Birth Control Access Act, which would increase access to contraception throughout New York State.

The legislation would allow pharmacists to dispense self-administered hormonal contraceptives if given a non-patient specific order from a licensed physician, certified nurse practitioner, or the New York State Commissioner of Health.

“Allowing pharmacists to consult with patients, provide a prescription, and dispense birth control would expand access for all New Yorkers – especially women with busy work and school schedules, or who have less money for doctor’s appointments, or live in rural communities with limited transportation,” said Assemblymember Paulin.

Paulin’s legislation includes self-administered, Food and Drug Administration-approved oral hormonal contraceptives, hormonal contraceptive vaginal rings and hormonal contraceptive patches.

Under the bill, a pharmacist must at least annually provide a patient with a self-screening risk assessment questionnaire developed by the commissioner of health in consultation with the commissioner of education prior to dispensing. The pharmacist would also be required to provide the patient with a fact sheet developed by the commissioner of health with information such as clinical considerations and recommendations for contraceptive use, information on the importance of follow-up health care and health care referral information.

“New York will always fight for women’s access to reproductive health care and the resources women need to make their own choices about family planning,” said Paulin. “This legislation will help reduce contraceptive deserts that exist in parts of the state by ensuring that there are increased safe and easy ways to access the contraceptives that women need.”

“Passage of the Birth Control Access Act will improve access and result in tangible benefits to New Yorkers seeking birth control and will expand the number of contraceptive providers in our state. Making the pharmacy a one-stop-shop for birth control will break down barriers preventing New Yorkers from getting this essential health care,” said Jenna Bimbi, Executive Director, NY Birth Control Access Project. “Assemblymember Amy Paulin has been a champion of this bill and we thank her for her work to pass this important legislation in the Assembly."

“The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), District II applauds the Assembly for passing A. 1060a to enhance access to contraception at pharmacies. There is robust scientific evidence detailing the safety and efficacy of hormonal contraception and ACOG ultimately supports over-the-counter access to hormonal contraception. We thank Assembly Health Chair Amy Paulin for her leadership in passing this legislation to allow pharmacists to dispense contraception through a non-patient specific standing order as an intermediate step to increase access and alleviate barriers,” said Christa Christakis, Executive Director, ACOG District II.

“As access to reproductive choice continues to be limited around the country by anti-choice extremists, here in New York we will continue to fight to protect and expand the right to reproductive health care and reproductive choice,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “This legislation ensures that women have more options and greater access to contraception.”

“By expanding the ability of pharmacists to provide contraceptives, we would put birth control within reach of many who otherwise wouldn't have access,” said Assemblymember Amy Paulin. "Passing the Birth Control Access Act in New York State and expanding access to contraception would give women control over their reproductive health, and in turn over their family planning, education, careers and lives.”