Sell the Pill Over the Counter It's time to end the prescription-only rule By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jun 22, 2010 12:00 PM CDT 43 comments Comments A 1974 file photo of a woman holding a dispenser of birth control pills. (AP Photo/Jerry Mosey, File) (Newser) – After 50 years, it's time to start selling birth control pills over the counter, writes Kelly Blanchard. "The pill" has proven to be a safe, simple, and essential tool for women's contraception, but the prescription-only barrier limits its usefulness, she writes in the New York Times. It's not just a matter of convenience—doing so will make the pill available to those who don't have access to a doctor. "Women don’t need a doctor to tell them if they need cold medicine or condoms, and they shouldn’t need a doctor’s permission to take the pill," Blanchard writes. "Over-the-counter sales would expand access to safe, effective contraception, and help women take control over their sexual and reproductive lives."