- Associated Press - Thursday, April 27, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) - A Hawaii bill that would no longer require women to make a trip to the doctor’s office to receive birth control has gained approval in the House and Senate.

The bill gained approval Tuesday and will now go to the full House and Senate for floor votes, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported (https://bit.ly/2plqvlL).

Women would be able to obtain birth control directly from pharmacists after filling out a risk-assessment survey if the bill is passed.

The measure aims to increase access to birth control, particularly in areas where there is a shortage of health care providers, and reduce unintended pregnancies.

Another bill that gained approval and is waiting for votes would limit pain pills to seven-day prescriptions. Certain exceptions would be made for patients who have just undergone surgery, are battling cancer or meet other criteria.

The bill also would require prescribers to counsel patients on the risks of the medication and alternative treatment options for pain, and to obtain signed consent forms from patients.

If one or both of the bills passes, they will go to Gov. David Ige for him to sign, veto or let pass without his signature.

Both measures were introduced by State Sen. Roz Baker, chairwoman of the Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health Committee. The measures are also part of this year’s package of bills backed by the Women’s Legislative Caucus.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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