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First over-the-counter birth control comes to the US

Words by Tess Becker

In a win for women's bodily autonomy, the US Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first-ever over-the-counter birth control pill.

They announced that the birth control pill, Opill, will be available for women of all ages without a prescription. The goal of this is to lower the barriers for people trying to access contraceptives and maintain their own bodily autonomy. 

The pill, often known as the “minipill,” is a particularly safe form of contraception because it does not contain oestrogen, meaning it has fewer side effects and health risks.

“When used as directed, daily oral contraception is safe and is expected to be more effective than currently available nonprescription contraceptive methods in preventing unintended pregnancy,” said Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

The US joins over 100 countries with access to over-the-counter birth control, including most of Latin America, China, India, and the UK.

The manufacturer of Opill has said it will most likely be available over the counter in early 2024.

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

The Women Invested to Save Earth Fund. This organization helps support underrepresented and underfunded Black, indigenous, and women of color-led organizations across the world. Find out more and support them here

The Life You Can Save. An organization that helps mobilize aid to regions affected by malaria. Find out more

Doctors Without Borders. Medical workers supporting people through crises. Find out more

This article aligns with the UN SDG Good Health and Wellbeing.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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