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Group pushes for over-the-counter birth control sales

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(CBS) - A leading group of the nation’s doctors  is calling for birth control pills to be available over the counter.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says the health risks associated with oral contraceptives are low and should be available without a prescription, in an effort to cut down on unwanted pregnancies.

"We don’t want anyone to say, 'oh I waited for an appointment I couldn’t get one. My doctor was too busy,'" said Dr. Jacques Moritz with Roosevelt Hospital.

The doctor’s group points out aspirin and acetaminophen are on drug store shelves even though they have  health risks. But critics say birth control pills can be much more dangerous.

"They make it sound like it’s nothing more than an aspirin when it very definitely is more than that.  All you have to do is open up the instructions when you buy a package and you see all the health risks that are listed there," said Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse with Concerned Women of America.

More research is needed, and the FDA would have to give final approval before birth control is made available over the counter.