Missouri's Republican-controlled House has voted to increase women's access to birth control by allowing pharmacists to prescribe oral contraceptives.

Tuesday's 97-50 vote in the House sends the measure to the Senate.

Under Blue Springs Republican Rep. Sheila Solon's bill, those under 18 would have to show pharmacists a doctor's previous prescription.

The bill would allow women to receive birth control prescriptions in one-year increments after their first three-month prescription. Women would need to visit a doctor within three years of their pharmacists' first prescription to continue receiving contraception.

Solon says greater access to birth control will reduce abortions, adding that women should be trusted to weigh the risks of birth control.

Opponents argued birth control can have negative side-effects and that women should visit doctors more frequently.

- Associated Press