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That was quick – and bipartisan! Contraception Bill Passes Senate

Sen. Marie Pinkney just introduced Senate Bill 105 last week and it passed the Senate on Tuesday unanimously. And I am very taken aback by that. It used to be that many Republicans, especially downstate, opposed the very notion of contraception, let alone expanding access to contraception.

The bill is now in the House Health and Human Development Committee, and is likely on the fast track there to be heard on the floor in the next two weeks.

Under current law, only healthcare practitioners (i.e. doctors) have the ability to prescribe contraceptive medications in Delaware, creating an unnecessary hurdle for many women, particularly in parts of the state where primary care doctors are in short supply. 

Senate Bill 105 would require DHSS to develop rules and regulations that spell out the conditions under which a pharmacist may dispense contraceptives, the standard procedures for selecting an appropriate contraceptive and the length of time a person may receive contraceptives without an examination by a healthcare practitioner.  Pharmacists also would be required to complete an approved training program, provide a self-screening risk assessment to patients, and provide a written summary of the evaluation.  

Senate Bill 105  SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
Pinkney, Hansen. S.McBride, Sokola, SturgeonSenate passed 21-0. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Bonini Hocker Lawson Lopez Pettyjohn Richardson Wilson
K.Johnson, Dorsey Walker, Baumbach, Kowalko, Lambert, S.Moore, Morrison, Wilson-Anton
Current Status — House Health & Human Development 4/28/21

“Contraceptives are as much a basic public health necessity as many over-the-counter medications. They have been proven through decades of use as safe, reliable, and effective. Pharmacists are licensed professionals who are knowledgeable about the benefits, risks and side effects of these contraceptives, and they are more than capable of dispensing and administering them,” said Rep. Kendra Johnson, the House prime sponsor of SB 105. “This bill will address a healthcare gap that exists for residents who might not have easy access to an OB-GYN, or even have a primary care physician. Instead of having the added step of discussing with a provider first, residents can discuss and receive these important contraceptive medications directly from their local pharmacist.” 

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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