(March 21) – Rep. Brittany Pettersen’s bill to give women access to 12 months of contraception at one time earned final approval from the House this morning with a 50-14 vote.
“This gives women the power to decide if and when they want to start a family,” said Rep. Pettersen, D-Lakewood. “Just by making this simple change and increasing consistency, a year’s supply of birth control has been shown to reduce unintended pregnancies by 30 percent and decrease abortions by 46 percent.”
A study by the University of California at San Francisco Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health found that a one-year supply of oral contraceptives is associated with a 30 percent reduction in the odds of conceiving an unplanned pregnancy and a 46 percent reduction in the odds of an abortion.
HB17-1186, also sponsored by Rep. Lois Landgraf, R-Fountain, allows women to take home a 12-month supply of contraception at one time following an initial three-month trial of any new prescription.
Access to birth control is important for women’s health for many reasons in addition to avoiding pregnancy. Other reasons women take the pill include: reducing cramps and menstrual pain; menstrual regulation, which can decrease migraines and other side effects of menstruation; treatment of acne; and treatment of endometriosis.
The vote sends the bill to the Senate.