Bill Owens, the Republican Governor of Colorado, has vetoed State House Bill 1212, which would have allowed pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception (EC) without a doctor’s prescription. State Senator Jennifer Veiga (D) said to the Denver Post that “this is the second year in a row that the governor has turned his back on women’s health,” referring to Owens’ veto of a bill that would have obligated hospitals to give referrals for EC to all rape victims. Kathryn Wittneben of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado said, “It is not enough for the governor to give lip service to wanting to reduce abortion É [EC] is one of the safest and most effective ways to help women prevent unintended pregnancy” reports the Associated Press (AP).
According to the AP, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, and New Mexico currently have laws that provide access to EC without prescription. EC is safer than aspirin, meets all of the FDA’s requirements for over-the-counter status, and is up to 95 percent effective if used within the first 24 hours after unprotected sex, birth control failure, or sexual assault.