Statement from URGE on FDA’s Decision to Approve Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pill

July 13, 2023

On July 13, the FDA approved an over-the-counter birth control pill for the first time in the United States for all people without age restrictions, making it the first birth control pill available without a prescription. This decision will pave the way for easier access to contraceptives for many, especially young people and BIPOC communities who face extraordinary barriers to access.

In response to this news, Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, said: 

“We applaud the FDA’s decision to approve an over-the-counter birth control pill, expanding access to contraceptives for young people nationwide. This is a huge win for young people, particularly young people of color as well as queer and trans young folks who face significant barriers in accessing birth control. For too long, our society has stigmatized birth control usage among young people, with damaging effects throughout their lives. Young people should be supported in their decisions, to use birth control, seek abortion care, or parent, and have the resources and care they need. Making birth control available over-the-counter is a crucial step in the right direction.

“This decision ​​will give young people greater access to the tools they need to care for their own health. We know that lack of insurance and cost should not be barriers to accessing birth control, which is why when these pills go to market, URGE will organize alongside reproductive justice organizations to ensure they are affordable and accessible nationwide.  

“While we are thrilled by the FDA’s decision, we know that young people can’t access their full range of reproductive choices until all barriers – especially restrictions on abortion access – are removed. It’s simple: young people deserve their full spectrum of rights. And that is a vision URGE will continue to fight for.”

Jen Miller, URGE’s Communications Manager and Leader of URGE’s Free the Pill Campaign, said: 

“This major win would not have been possible without decades of tireless activism by young people raising their voices and working to increase access to contraceptives for all. We stand alongside all young people who continue to push for progress. This is not just a victory for them; this is a victory young people fully participated in achieving. 

“Since 2020, URGE’s Free the Pill Fest has challenged young people to envision a world where they could access birth control pills from their local pharmacy without a prescription. Each year, we promoted and paid young creatives for their thought-provoking and aesthetically pleasing digital content on this topic. I am proud that this year – through graphics, videos, podcasts, and submissions during the FDA’s public comment period – young people helped make this vision a reality.”