MADISON, Wis. (WMDX) – The Wisconsin Assembly easily passed a bill that would allow pharmacists in the state to prescribe and distribute birth control Wednesday.
The bill, 2023 Assembly Bill 176, includes a number of provisions that would require the pharmacist to communicate with a patient’s primary health care provider.
Under the bill, only people ages 18 and over would be able to receive contraceptives.
The bill passed 82-11 after a half-hour of debate, with Rep. Chuck Wichgers (R-Muskego) using about half of that time to share concerns from faith-based organizations and constituents. Pro-Life Wisconsin, Wisconsin Family Action Inc., and Wisconsin Catholic Conference registered against the bill, while Wisconsin Right to Life Inc. said that the group is concerned that the bill would open the door for pharmacists to prescribe abortion medication should it become legal in Wisconsin.
The bill’s author, Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay), said that he was optimistic the bill would be heard in the state Senate.
Several health care organizations in Wisconsin support the bill. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers would sign the bill into law if passed by the Senate, his office said.