Augusta Free Press

Perriello proposes pharmacist, clinician prescribed contraception

Tom Perriello unveiled a new policy proposal on Monday aimed at reforming regulations currently governing women’s access to birth control in the Commonwealth.

The plan would enable pharmacists and some nurses to dispense birth control at pharmacies and women’s health clinics, ensuring more accessibility for every Virginia woman. Seven states and the District of Columbia have already passed laws expanding contraception prescribing abilities to pharmacists, and Plan B is currently and properly available without a prescription.

The announcement follows Perriello, a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for governor, proposing a constitutional amendment to guarantee a woman’s right to choose at the state level, which would help safeguard reproductive choice in Virginia against a U.S. Supreme Court increasingly hostile to Roe.

“It’s common sense that a woman should be able to walk into her local pharmacy or women’s health clinic and walk out with contraception,” Perriello wrote in a new Medium post. “Removing the requirement that women obtain birth control prescriptions from a doctor will reduce barriers, costs, and inconveniences associated with routine contraception access.”

These barriers impact women throughout the Commonwealth but are particularly harmful to women in rural and underserved areas.

“Reproductive justice is an essential element of leveling the playing field for women in a society where subjugation has been the status quo for centuries,” Perriello said. “It’s past time to break down outdated, moralistic barriers to gender equality and trust women to make their own health choices with autonomy, affordability, access, and dignity.”