Two-thirds of women are in favor of over-the-counter (OTC) birth control pills, a new national survey says.
Researchers also found that approximately 30 percent of women who don't take an effective form of contraception or no form at all would be willing to buy the pills if no prescription was needed.
"Of course it's a hypothetical question, and it remains to be seen how this would play out in reality," Daniel Grossman, the co-author who worked alongside the nonprofit Ibis Reproductive Health in this study, told Reuters.
It was last winter when the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a committee opinion report that poked concerns about unintended pregnancies and proposed to allow access to over-the-counter oral contraceptives.
They reported that overall unplanned pregnancies haven't changed much in the past 20 years, remaining considerably high and accounting for nearly half of all pregnancies.
Women can now feel the full effect of these contraception plans since the recent announcement on Wednesday when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved access to the Plan B One Step emergency contraceptive to women 15 and older.
Grossman says that eliminating the doctor's order would save the headache for women who can't reach them in time and would otherwise lose pills. He also says this approach would help prevent unplanned pregnancies.
In the study, Grossman and his team recruited more than 2,000 women between the ages 18 and 44 who were sexually active with men within the past year and surveyed their attitudes on oral contraceptive pills.
Approximately 31.4 percent said they "strongly" favor the opportunity to buy pills without prescriptions, while 30.9 percent were "somewhat" in favor.
While interest in using the pill has peaked among women, they are also curious about whether or not it's safe depending on personal health. There could be unforseen complications as a result of buying the wrong pill. However, Grossman added that this vital piece of information was not surveyed in the latest study.
The findings are published in the journal Contraception.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that 60 percent of women favored OTC "emergency contraception." The survey actually inquired about over-the-counter oral contraceptives such as the birth control pill, and not "emergency contraception." Medical Daily regrets the error.