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A new directive will make it easier for Michigan women to get birth control

A one-month pack of white birth control pills, with green off-week pills, peeks out from its opened plastic packaging.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP
A one-month dosage of hormonal birth control pills.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the policy Monday during a visit to Flint.

A state policy will make it easier for women to access many common types of birth control without a visit to the doctor’s office. It covers hormonal contraceptives such as the pill, the patch and the ring.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs issued an interpretative policy statement at Whitmer’s behest. She said it will allow doctors and pharmacists to partner to prescribe birth control without requiring an office visit in most cases.

“This is one more tool that women need to have so that they can make their own decisions around their bodies,” she said in an interview with the Michigan Public Radio Network.

"Some do this, but the vast majority do not, and so that’s why it was important to say, this is legal," she added. "We want to facilitate this and make it easier for women to access reproductive health care and that includes birth control.”

Whitmer says easy access to birth control has become more critical since Roe v Wade was overturned by the US Supreme Court. Abortion remains legal in Michigan under a court order that put a hold on enforcing a 1931 law that would otherwise threaten abortion providers with prosecution.

It’s not clear how widely that law might be applied if the injunction lifted.