Explore A Virtual World Where Birth Control is Available OTC


Explore A Virtual World Where Birth Control is Available OTC

July 26, 2021
An illustration of a storefront with the words, "#FreeThePill Virtual Store Now Open! advocatesforyouth.org/VirtualStore"

What is on your average drugstore shopping list? Soda—check. A birthday card—check. Some ramen and maybe a smoothie—check and check. Birth control—ch…. Birth control? 

A Teen Vogue poll showed that 76% of young people believe that birth control should be available without a prescription. And health care providers agree. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has stated it believes that the pill should be available over the counter in the US. And the American Academy of Family Physicians supports over-the-counter access for birth control pills without a prescription. The American Medical Association has also recommended that manufacturers of the pill apply to the Food and Drug Administration for permission to switch from prescription to over-the-counter status.

Research has shown that when the pill moves over the counter it remains a safe and effective method of birth control. By removing the barrier of a prescription, we can increase access for everyone across the country, including the more than 19 million women who live in contraceptive deserts, or counties in which they lack reasonable access to a health center offering the full range of birth control methods

While condoms, internal condoms, the sponge, spermicide, and emergency contraception are all now available at a pharmacy, other more effective methods remain behind the unnecessary barrier of a provider-written prescription. We believe that all methods of birth control are basic health care. It’s time to begin removing barriers by making the birth control pill available over the counter. It’s time to #FreeThePill



A new, interactive virtual store invites visitors to wander through a world where birth control is available over the counter, covered by insurance, with no age restrictions. Dreamt up by members of the campaign’s youth council, in the virtual store you can see the pill on the shelves next to tampons, allergy pills, cold and flu medication, and all of the other basics we don’t think twice about buying whenever we need them. 

Young people shouldn’t have to jump through unnecessary hoops to gain access to the contraceptive care they need and want. But an accessible, available over-the-counter birth control pill isn’t everything! Our vision for the pill is that it’s affordable and available to people of all ages: Without question, we think the birth control pill should be:

  • Available over the counter.
  • Affordable for everyone.
  • Accessible for all.

Join us in supporting #FreeThePill by acting now. And after you’ve had fun exploring the virtual store, share it with friends, family, and your network to spread the word. 

The #FreeThePill virtual store was designed by Playable Media.