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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

On March 18th, 2024, Opill became the nation’s first over-the-counter birth control pill that will allow women nationwide to purchase without a prescription. For freshman Catalina Rodriguez Kretz, birth control has been transformative.

“It does make me very happy for the girls that are uncomfortable with the gynecologist. Maybe they don’t want to go get prescribed or don’t want their parents to find out that it’s in the insurance that covers it.”

Catalina Rodriguez Kretz, UT sustainability studies student

What is Opill?

Approved back in 2023, the Food and Drug Administration ratified the first daily contraception for buyers to purchase online as well at drug stores including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and H-E-B. Opill is 98% effective at preventing pregnancy when used as directed and starts working 48 hours after you take the first pill, according to the Opill website. According to Perrigo, the company behind Opill, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price will be sold in stores in a variety of sizes. A one-month and three-month packs price will include $19.99 and $49.99 along with the online price at $49.99 for a three-month supply and a six-month supply of $89.99.

Why is it crucial for college women? 

As of Fall of 2023, about half of college students in the U.S. reported they used a male condom to prevent pregnancy the last time they had intercourse, while 39% used birth control pills, according to a survey of college students. For the 39% that use birth control, that’s nearly two in five that take the contraceptive.

For college students like Rodriguez Kretz, access to birth control is essential for college women to support their academic success, personal development and overall well-being.

”Birth control, for me personally, is extremely important. It’s what’s potentially going to allow me to finish my career without any unwanted pregnancies on the way.” 

Catalina Rodriguez Kretz, UT sustainability studies student

At the University of Texas at Austin, Rodriguez Kretz expressed that she hasn’t found support on campus. While she’s encountered barriers, she said there’s definitely an issue with how much information the students know and are taught.

As a result of her journey to learn more about contraceptives, Rodriguez Kretz began reading “This Is Your Brain on Birth Control: How the Pill Changes Everything.” The book explained how oral contraceptives are affecting women’s thinking, emotions and behavior.

Rodriguez Kretz expressed that the book provided answers to many lingering questions she had. As she delves deeper into her exploration of birth control, Rodriguez Kretz finds a peace of mind both with her body and, most importantly, within herself.

Journalism mayor @ UT Austin IG: @natalia_liliana_torres