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Governor signs bill to allow birth control dispensed without prescription

SALT LAKE CITY — Right now if a Utah woman wants to use birth control for contraception, or for other health reasons, she needs a prescription from a doctor. If she wants it in pill form doctors require yearly visits before giving out the prescription.

That changes May 8th.

Tuesday Governor Herbert signed the new measure that gives women over the age of 18 the chance to request birth control from a pharmacist so long as they continue to visit doctors for checkups every two or three years.

Bill sponsor Senator Todd Weiler said five years ago this bill wouldn’t have passed because legislators would have worried it encouraged sex outside of marriage. Now he said they realize requiring a doctor’s prescription was an extra cost and hassle some Utahns couldn’t afford.

“The likelihood is more of them will great pregnant and end up on state and federal welfare,” Weiler said. “We had to face some really sobering realities at the Utah legislature. One of them is Medicaid expansion.”