Deregulate Dentistry — and Birth Control


One of the disappointments of the 2016 regular session was the failure of HB 191, a bill that would have allowed dental therapists to provide routine care such as drilling and filling cavities.

Occupational-licensing tyranny in the healthcare field is a target-rich environment for reforms that are sure to benefit both consumers and taxpayers. Last week, the Pew Research Center profiled another promising deregulation: permitting pharmacists to supply contraceptives to women without a doctor’s prescription.

“California pharmacists will begin writing their own prescriptions for birth control next month,” Pew reported, “and lawmakers in Hawaii, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington are considering legislation that would give pharmacists the power to prescribe contraceptives.”

Let’s add New Mexico to that list. Pew’s research shows that the Land of Enchantment ranks #9 in unintended pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15-44, and #11 in unintended pregnancies as a percentage of all pregnancies.

In New Mexico and throughout the nation, the welfare-industrial complex is founded on illegitimacy. An enormous cohort of children born to, and raised by, single mothers acts as a force multiplier for all manner of social pathologies. Letting pharmacists sell prescription-free contraception is no cure for unwed pregancies, but it’s a step in the right direction.