Plan B Going To The Legislature Next Session?

It’s now legal for pharmacists to sale Plan B over-the-counter, but actually finding a store that will sell you the pills is easier said than done in some parts of Colorado.

A Colorado Confidential investigation found that it would take quite a few phone calls to find Plan B if you happen to live in El Paso County. It was the same for more rural areas in the state.  Even in urban areas like Denver, some stores hadn’t yet stocked the pills.

As far as the political implications are concerned, the future is unknown. With a Democratic governor and majority in the state legislature, emergency contraception laws might change locally next year.Senator Betty Boyd (D) of Senate District 21 has tried multiple times to pass legislation dealing with emergency contraception.

In 2005, the General Assembly passed a bill that would require hospitals to tell sexual assault victims about the availability of Plan B. But it was  vetoed by Republican Gov. Bill Owens. In April, Boyd tried to pass a bill allowing pharmacists to prescribe emergency contraception, but it was also vetoed by Owens after passing through the legislature.

Now, with the federal government making it legal for pharmacists to prescribe Plan B over-the-counter, Boyd says she’s not exactly sure what she’ll do on the issue.

“I want to have a conversation about what the next steps will be,” says Boyd, noting that there were “various possibilities.” Boyd also says she wants to talk with Planned Parenthood and NARAL to determine what action might need to be taken, if any.

Either way, Owens will be replaced by Gov. Bill Ritter for the next session, making the prospects of passing a bill dealing with emergency contraception more favorable.

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at erosa@coloradoindependent.com.

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