POWER TO DECIDE SUPPORTS THE ACCESS TO CONTRACEPTION FOR MILITARY SERVICEMEMBERS AND DEPENDENTS ACT OF 2019

Press release

POWER TO DECIDE SUPPORTS THE ACCESS TO CONTRACEPTION FOR MILITARY SERVICEMEMBERS AND DEPENDENTS ACT OF 2019

April 5, 2019
Power to Decide logo next to a picture of a woman

(Washington, D.C.) — Yesterday, the Access to Contraception for Military Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2019 was reintroduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-C.A.. The bill would ensure that all servicemembers and their dependents who rely on the military for health care have improved access to comprehensive contraceptive coverage and family planning care.

In response, Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, Power to Decide, issued the following statement:

“Women have served with distinction in every U.S. military conflict since the American Revolution. Currently, women make up more than 17 percent of all active duty and reserve members of the armed forces and comprise 50 percent of all beneficiaries covered by the military health care program, TRICARE. The bill is an important step towards ensuring that all servicemembers receive high-quality information and access to contraceptive care. These supports are necessary to ensure women in the military can live their best life, including serving their country in all branches of the military.” 

Specifically, the bill would enhance family planning education by creating a standardized educational program across all branches of the military to ensure that all servicemembers receive high-quality information. The bill would also remove cost-sharing for birth control for everyone covered by TRICARE, bringing military birth control coverage policies in line with other employer-based insurance plans. In addition, the bill codifies existing Department of Defense regulations that health care providers at military treatment facilities provide survivors of sexual assault with information and access to emergency contraception.

“Birth control is basic preventive health care. For military servicewomen and their families, it is critical to ensuring military readiness,” concluded Ehrlich.

Power to Decide, along with other organizations committed to protecting and improving women’s health, signed on to a letter in support of the Access to Contraception for Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2019.

Power to Decide is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to ensure all people—no matter who they are, where they live or what their economic status might be—have the power to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. Please visit us at www.PowerToDecide.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.