Arkansas bill allowing no-prescription birth control OK’d

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas House has approved legislation allowing pharmacists to dispense birth-control pills without a prescription, the day after the bill narrowly failed in the same chamber.

The House on Tuesday voted 54-29 for the bill. It would allow pharmacists who complete a training program approved by the state Board of Pharmacy to dispense oral contraceptives to women 18 years and older. The measure now heads to the Senate for a vote.

Supporters of the bill say the measure will help reduce teen pregnancies in the state and lower Medicaid costs. The bill failed in the House on Monday, falling three votes shy of the 51 it needed to advance.

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