Missouri House advances bill to expand birth control access

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The GOP-led Missouri House is advancing a measure to make it easier for women to get birth control.

House members in a voice vote gave the legislation initial approval Wednesday. It's sponsored by Republican Rep. Sheila Solon and would allow pharmacists to prescribe oral contraceptives.

Those under 18 would have to show pharmacists a doctor's previous prescription. The bill would allow women to receive birth control prescriptions in one-year increments after their first three-month prescription.

Women would need to visit a doctor within three years of their pharmacists' first prescription to continue receiving contraception.

Solon says greater access to contraception will prevent unwanted pregnancies and lead to fewer abortions. Republican and Democratic House members voiced support for the legislation.

It needs a second House vote to move to the Senate.

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