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New York expands access to contraception at pharmacies: Here’s how it works

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  • Staff Report 

In New York, walk-in patients can now access contraception at pharmacies, a move enabled by an order signed by State Department of Health Commissioner James McDonald. The announcement was made during an event at Albany College of Pharmacy’s College Parkside Pharmacy, attended by both McDonald and Governor Kathy Hochul. This initiative aims to strengthen reproductive rights and ensure that women have the freedom to make decisions regarding their bodies, especially in light of ongoing challenges to reproductive rights at both the national and state levels.

Governor Hochul emphasized the importance of contraception as essential healthcare and highlighted its role in addressing other women’s health issues, such as endometriosis. The move comes as a response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, with Hochul expressing her determination to ensure New York serves as a sanctuary for comprehensive women’s healthcare.

The Department of Health’s order makes three forms of contraception—oral hormonal pills, vaginal rings, and contraceptive patches—available for up to a year’s supply, with health insurance coverage. This action builds on previous legislation signed by Hochul last year to widen reproductive healthcare access, including making contraception available over the counter and ensuring abortion medication access to SUNY and CUNY students.