Arkansas bill allowing no-prescription birth control OK’d

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas House has approved legislation allowing
pharmacists to dispense birth-control pills without a prescription, the day
after the bill narrowly failed in the same chamber.

The House on Tuesday voted 54-29 for the bill. It would allow pharmacists who
complete a training program approved by the state Board of Pharmacy to dispense
oral contraceptives to women 18 years and older. The measure now heads to the
Senate for a vote.

Among the delegation representing North Central Arkansas, Representative Michelle Gray of Melbourne was among the 54 voting in favor of the measure, while Representatives Nelda Speaks of Mountain Home, Jack Fortner of Yellville, John Payton of Wilburn and Marsh Davis of Cherokee Village were among the 29 voting in opposition.

Supporters of the bill say the measure will help reduce teen pregnancies in
the state and lower Medicaid costs. The bill failed in the House on Monday,
falling three votes shy of the 51 it needed to advance.

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