FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM JUNE 10, 2021 • THE QUEENS COURIER 31
Pharmacists prescribing contraception increases choice
and access for marginalized communities in New York
BY TANNUJA ROZARIO
Our health care system continues to
fail marginalized communities. During
the COVID pandemic there was more
discussion around this inequity than
we have seen in the past, especially as
media outlets began to cover the systemwide
letters & comments
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failure in earnest. Th e conversation
included disparities in sexual and
reproductive health care and services.
Access to such services can be dependent
on one’s socio-economic status, gender,
sexual orientation, race and immigration
status. Th ese intersecting systems
of oppression oft en make it diffi -
cult for people to access birth control.
By authorizing pharmacists to prescribe
and dispense contraceptives, we can create
a brand-new access point for all New
Yorkers, including many marginalized
New York State is falling behind, as
nearly 20 states already authorize pharmacists
to prescribe and dispense contraception.
Currently, obtaining a prescription
for birth control can be costly and
inconvenient for many New Yorkers. Th is
can be especially true in marginalized
communities. A 2019 study of four states
that allow pharmacists to prescribe control
found that the policy especially benefi
ted patients who were younger, more
likely to be uninsured or lived far from a
provider but close to a pharmacy.
Allowing pharmacists to prescribe contraception
can alleviate barriers to access.
When trained pharmacists prescribe contraceptives,
they counsel patients and
perform the necessary health checks and
patients are able to obtain their prescription
and contraception during one visit
to the pharmacy. Marginalized communities
are more likely to experience barriers
which include a lack of transportation,
securing child care, balancing work
or school schedules for appointments, or
costly provider visits. Th e cost of a provider
visit can become especially burdensome
for the uninsured. For those
patients who live closer to a pharmacy
than a provider, which is more oft en
than not, the availability of contraception
through the pharmacy is more convenient.
Th ere are the additional benefi ts
of not needing to schedule an appointment
and pharmacies being open in the
evenings and on weekends. It’s undeniable
that this policy increases access to
all New Yorkers, but it can be essential for
those who have the hardest time obtaining
the birth control they want.
Th is year, legislation to authorize pharmacists
in New York to prescribe contraception
was introduced in the state
Senate and the Assembly. If New York
passes this legislation, it will expand
access to reproductive health care and
improve health equity through accessible
family planning resources. New Yorkers
across the state stand to benefi t from this
policy; it’s the right thing to do and the
right time to do it.
Tannuja Rozario is a founding board
member of South Queens Women’s March.
CUOMO’S PRICEY FUNDRAISER
One can judge a person’s character by the company they
Did you receive an invitation to Governor Cuomo’s latest
campaign fundraiser to be held in New York City on June
29? Tickets are only $10,000 or two for $15,000!
You can enjoy rubbing shoulders with New York state’s
1 percent, favorite pay-to-play and Democratic party elite.
Cuomo already has $16.8 million in cash on hand to run
for a fourth term. Like most ordinary New Yorkers, I can’t
aff ord the price. I am willing to park limousines, bus tables,
mix drinks or check coats.
Cuomo is currently under investigation for potential
scandals related to nursing home deaths, sexual harassment
and his multimillion-dollar book deal. He has hired
outside legal counsel at the cost of $2.5 million at government
expense. Why not use some of the proceeds from his
upcoming fundraiser and current campaign kitty to pay for
his legal representation rather than pick the pockets of taxpayers
to foot the bill?
Larry Penner, Great Neck
FLY THE AMERICAN FLAG
ON FLAG DAY
Th e American fl ag was originally adopted by a resolution
by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. But Flag
Day wasn’t offi cially recognized until proposed by Congress
and signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1949.
Th e week of June 14 is designated as National Flag Week,
therefore I propose that the American Flag be displayed
outside homes, apartments, offi ces, businesses and stores
throughout the United States.
We do this to honor all that our great nation represents,
which is freedom, equality and justice for all. Th ese principles
and ideas are embodied in the American fl ag. We
should do this also to show honor and respect for all our
brave men and women who are serving our nation today
and also all those who have given their lives to preserve our
Our American fl ag is the fabric of our country and by fl ying
the American fl ag we can be reminded that we can prevail
against all adversity. So please fl y the American fl ag on
Monday, June 14, and remember this, too: Th ese colors of
red, white and blue don’t run. God bless America!
Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Bellerose