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California Women Can Get Birth Control From Pharmacy Without Prescription

SAN JOSE (CBS/AP) -- Women in California can now get birth control directly from a pharmacist without a prescription from their doctor.

A law that allows California pharmacists to directly provide prescription contraceptives went into effect Friday.

The new law gives pharmacists the authority to dispense hormonal contraceptives that women can administer themselves, including transdermal, vaginal, and injection prescription birth control methods.

But it's not a simple over-the counter process.

Women requesting birth control will have to complete a health questionnaire. A pharmacist will also consult with the patient about the most suitable form of birth control. In some cases, they will have to take the woman's blood pressure before issuing a prescription.

California is the third state to eliminate the need for a prescription. Oregon made the change in January, and Washington has had a similar law on the books for more than 30 years. Hawaii, New Mexico and Alaska are expected to follow suit.

Critics say the new law sends the wrong message to teenage girls by allowing them to more easily get contraceptives.

TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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