A new bill by Independent At-large Councilman David Catania aims to allow Yaz and Yasmin to be sold over the counter in Washington. The bill was introduced on February 15 and a decision is expected in the next few months.
As it stands, Yaz and Yasmin currently hold 30 percent of the birth control market despite the black box warning. If the bill passes, Yaz will be even more widely available than it is right now, which offers far more risks than benefits for consumers. Some experts believe that attaining birth control is the major reason why women in Washington go to their annual exams, which also screens them for various other health problems including STDs. With the nation’s highest HIV/AIDS rate (3 percent of the state’s population has been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, though that amount could be double with unreported cases), it is likely that the reported cases could drop in Washington if the young women stop going to the doctor for their birth control pills. That will inevitably bring the AIDS toll higher as more and more women will go undiagnosed while continuing to have sex.
The second problem that may arise with selling Yaz and Yasmin over the counter is obvious: The popular contraceptives have been linked to many potentially life-threatening conditions, including blood clots, heart attacks, pulmonary embolisms, gallbladder disease and deep vein thrombosis.
What about teenage girls? If teenage girls start taking Yaz and Yasmin without a doctor monitoring them, they will be engaging in unmonitored sexual behavior that will also increase their likelihood of contracting STDs as well. These women will also remain uninformed about any pre-existing condition that they don’t know about that could aggravate their reactions to the drosperinone and ethinyl that make up the pills’ main ingredients. In that instance, selling Yaz OTC could prove to be a complete disaster that doesn’t benefit anyone except the pharmaceutical company that sells them.