Power to Decide Applauds Re-Introduction of Affordability is Access Act
WASHINGTON — Today, Senators Patty Murray, Mazie Hirono and Catherine Cortez Masto and Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ami Bera will reintroduce the Affordability is Access Act, a bill requiring insurance companies to cover birth control approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be available over the counter without the need for a prescription. With the FDA expert advisory committee voting unanimously last week to recommend approval of an over-the-counter pill, this legislation is urgently needed.
The Affordability is Access Act cites Power to Decide data on contraceptive deserts, which details areas of the country without reasonable access to health centers that offer a full range of birth control methods. More than 19 million women who are eligible for publicly funded contraception live in contraceptive deserts. Of those women, 1.2 million live in a county without one health center that offers a full range of birth control methods.
Power to Decide CEO, Raegan McDonald-Mosley, MD, MPH, issued the following statement in response:
“As people face the national crisis in access to reproductive health care, the Affordability is Access Act is needed more than ever. As a practicing OB-GYN, I have seen how barriers such as cost and access to providers can limit the options available to my patients and make it harder for them to access the contraceptive method that is best for them.
“Access to contraception is an urgent reproductive health and equity issue that is more important than ever with the FDA moving closer to making a birth control pill available over the counter. By expanding access to contraception, we are supporting everyone’s ability to protect their health and determine their own future. Both public health and individual rights require our country to act now to ensure that every person has the power to decide whether and when to become pregnant.
“We thank Senators Murray, Hirono and Cortez Masto and Representatives Pressley, Ocasio-Cortez and Bera for their leadership and work to remove barriers to safe and effective birth control. And we encourage their colleagues in Congress to join them in supporting and passing this important legislation.”
Power to Decide is a private, non-partisan, nonprofit 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 or have a child.