Power to Decide applauds reintroduction of federal bill to expand access to contraception
WASHINGTON — Today, Rep. Underwood and Sen. Fetterman announced the reintroduction of the “Convenient Contraception Act,” which would improve reproductive health by requiring health plans under the jurisdiction of the federal government to cover a 365-day supply of prescription contraceptives dispensed at one time. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have already enacted similar policies.
Power to Decide CEO, Raegan McDonald-Mosley, MD, MPH, issued the following statement in support of the legislation:
“Contraception is basic health care and, as an OB-GYN, I see how difficult it is for my patients to use contraception consistently when Insurance plans only cover 30- to 90-day supplies of prescription contraceptives at one time. Limiting the supply of prescription contraceptives to these short intervals reduces timely access to contraception and can create gaps in use. Access to reliable and convenient contraception is essential to being able to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant or have a child. Unfortunately, there are many barriers to accessing contraception.
“Roughly 19 million women in need of publicly funded family planning currently live in contraceptive deserts — counties where they lack reasonable access to a health center offering the full range of contraceptive methods. Communities of color and low-wage and rural communities are disproportionately impacted by the lack of access to contraception.
“The ‘Convenient Contraception Act’ takes a crucial step to improve access to contraception by removing some barriers that have hindered the ability to obtain and use contraceptives. By mandating insurance coverage for a one-year supply of prescription contraceptive methods, more people will have access to contraception without gaps or delays. One study found that doing so decreased unplanned pregnancies by 30%, compared with a supply of just one or three months.
“Enacting the ‘Convenient Contraception Act,’ improves contraceptive equity and ensures more people have the power to decide if and when to get pregnant. Congress should follow the lead of the states and pass this bill now.”
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 or have a child.