'It would probably lower the rate of unintended pregnancies'

'It would probably lower the rate of unintended pregnancies' »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. - A group of doctors recommends that the prescription birth control pill that women have been taking for decades should be sold over the counter.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said that the birth control pill be sold over-the-counter.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended - a rate that has held steady for the last 20 years.

The ACOG said that easier access to birth control medication could help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies.

Anne Marie Moore, a women's health care practitioner in Eugene, also thinks the birth control pill should go over the counter.

"I think because it's relatively safe, there are other medications over the counter that can have severe side affects as well," Moore said.

Many women KVAL News talked to in Eugene also agree with ACOG's endorsement.

"It would probably lower the rate of unintended pregnancies," said Becca Turk from Eugene.

"It's just easier if you don't have insurance, for example, you can just go straight to the pharmacy," said Sally Boyer from Eugene.

Other women in Eugene said they fear the price of taking the pill might go up if it goes over -the-counter.

"Right now birth control is being covered by insurance and there's some argument that if it's available over the counter, then it might drive the prices up," Moore said.

Even so, Moore said placing the pill over the counter could be the best way to go.

"The fact that it's so safe and we have so many methods and such a high unintended pregnancy rate, it seems like a logical next step would be to have it widely available," Moore said.

If the pill were to go over the counter, it would not be any time soon.

A company would first have to get government approval to sell the drug over the counter.