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Indiana Statehouse

Source: Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

STATEHOUSE — State lawmakers are considering expanding access to contraception in Indiana as the state’s near-total abortion ban remains on hold.

The House Public Health committee heard testimony Tuesday on a bill to let pharmacists prescribe birth control pills and patches instead of a doctor. A similar bill was introduced during the special session of the legislature last year, but nothing came of it

There is bipartisan support for the bill that many supporters say will help Hoosier women in rural communities where they is likely a pharmacy, but no access to an OBGYN.

Some healthcare organizations want to see some restrictions, though, such as limiting the number of prescriptions a pharmacist can give per person. The Indiana State Medical Association in particular says that patients only get the best possible care when a doctor is involved.

No vote was taken on the bill on Tuesday, but the Public Health committee is expected to revisit the bill for a vote next week.