The Food and Drug Administration has approved the oral contraceptive Opill for over-the-counter sales, making it the first hormonal contraceptive pill available in the U.S. without a prescription.
The approval is a major win for medical groups, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which have been pushing for years for an over-the-counter (OTC) birth control pill. It also comes amid legal battles over women’s reproductive rights.
Opill, also known as the mini pill, contains one hormone, progestin, and is taken daily. It was first approved by the FDA as a prescription in 1973.
The FDA said it is approving the over-the-counter version for all users of reproductive age, including teenagers, a move that is expected to remove barriers to access and reduce the risk of unintended pregnancies.
Almost half of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the U.S. each year are unintended, according to the FDA.