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Connecticut Senate passes bill to allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control

 Connecticut Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewitcz
Molly Ingram
Connecticut Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz promoting pharmacist-prescribed birth control in February.

The Connecticut Senate unanimously voted to allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control to individuals 16 and older on Thursday night.

S.B. 171 will now be sent to the House for a vote.

All 36 senators voted in favor of the bill, which will allow pharmacists to write prescriptions for emergency and hormonal contraceptives.

State Senator Ryan Fazio, who introduced the bill, urged the House to do the same.

“This is smart policy that will improve outcomes for women, give people more choice and improve outcomes writ large in Connecticut,” Fazio said. “So I urge adoption.”

Public Health Committee ranking member Sen. Heather Somers said it's time for Connecticut to join the 24 other states that have already passed similar legislation.

“This bill provides women with increased access, ease of scheduling, reduced cost and choice, most of all,” Somers said. “Choice of when and if they decide to plan a pregnancy, and it allows them to do this on their own terms.”

The bill requires pharmacists to complete training and notify the patient's primary care physician, if they have one, about the prescription.

They will also have to screen patients at least once a year while dispensing the medication, counseling them on what to expect and when to seek medical attention.

Governor Ned Lamont and Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz have supported the bill throughout the legislative session.

If the bill passes the House and is signed by Lamont, it will take effect immediately.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.