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Arizona bill wants more information, access to emergency contraceptives

PHOENIX — A bill introduced into the Arizona State House of Representative would give women more access to and information about emergency contraceptives.

State Rep. Victoria Steele said HB 2552 has several provisions relating to pharmacies, healthcare providers and emergency contraceptives, but the primary focus of the bill would require licensed pharmacies and healthcare workers in Arizona to tell women about emergency contraceptives, also known as Plan B or the morning-after pill.

“It makes sure that a women who has had unprotected sex, or who has been raped, has the information and has access to this emergency contraception,” she said.

Steele said women, especially those who have been the victim of sexual assault, should be aware of all options available to them when it comes to avoiding pregnancy.

“We have known about birth control and birth control has allowed parents to plan when or if they’re going to become parents,” she said. “When you consider the most important economic decision a women will make is if or when to become a parent, we need to give her the safe medical options and birth control has made such a difference in women’s lives.”

HB 2552 would require all licensed pharmacies in the state to fill any valid prescriptions for emergency contraceptives. If a pharmacy is unable to fill a prescription, it would have to transfer the prescription or refer the patient to another local pharmacy.

The bill would also require any pharmacy employee to notify their employer in writing of any types of prescriptions that their “sincerely-held religious beliefs” would prevent them from filling. Employers would then have to attempt to reasonably accommodate those employees.