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Assembly weighs expanding birth control access for 18 and up

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled state Assembly is expected to pass a bill opposed by anti-abortion groups that would broaden birth control access.

The bill up for vote Thursday would allow pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraceptive patches and birth control pills to anyone 18 or older. Current law allows only doctors to prescribe them.

Anti-abortion groups are opposed to the proposal, arguing that increasing access to birth control encourages premarital sex and the odds of unintended pregnancies and abortions.

Democrats have questioned the intention of Republicans, saying they are pushing the measure to make themselves more electable.

Democrats favor a more expansive proposal that had no age limits on who could get the birth control.

The bill would also have to pass the Senate and be signed by Gov. Tony Evers before becoming law.

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