As of January 1st, women in Oregon who are over 18 years old no longer need a prescription to access birth control. This new law is a major step forward in removing barriers to family planning and reducing unintended pregnancies. In addition to not needing a prescription, women can also get a year-long supply of birth control pills in a single visit. This will make it much more convenient and affordable for women to stay on the pill, as it’s often challenging for women – especially young women – to refill their prescription every month. While this new law is an encouraging sign for reproductive rights, preventative and sexual health care are still vitally important. Just because women may not need to see their gynecologist for birth control quite as often, it’s critical to keep that annual check up. Also, echoing our previous blog, women must be free to decide on what contraception is best for them. For some, pills may not be the best fit, so we must continue to advocate for laws that make all forms of contraception affordable and easily accessible. Finally, we must consider how age restrictions, like the 18 and older restriction with this new law, impacts young girls. A 2013 report by the CDC discovered that 47% of U.S. high school students have had sexual intercourse. Many teenagers are already sexual active, and we cannot miss opportunities to provide them with the tools and education to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and STIs.