GOP bill would allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican lawmakers are introducing a bill that would allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control pills.

Under current state law only doctors and advanced practice nurses who meet certain guidelines can prescribe hormonal birth control. Reps. Joel Kitchens and Mary Felzkowski introduced a bill Tuesday that would allow pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraceptive patch and birth control pills. Patients would have to fill out a self-assessment questionnaire and undergo a blood pressure screening.

Kitchens and Felzkowski wrote in a memo seeking co-sponsors that they want to give women more choices for reproductive care and reduce unplanned pregnancies.

They introduced the bill a day before the Assembly was set to debate a package of Republican-authored anti-abortion legislation, including a measure that would eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood. Democrats say the legislation will reduce women's access to health care.