(March 9) – Rep. Brittany Pettersen’s bill to give women access to 12 months of contraception at one time passed the House Health, Insurance & Environment Committee on a 8-3 vote this afternoon.

“A year-long supply of contraception makes women’s lives easier,” said Rep. Pettersen, D-Lakewood. “Birth control is an essential component of women’s health and research shows a year’s supply improves consistent use. It also has proven to reduce abortions by 46 percent.”

“Being able to pick up a year’s supply of the pill in one trip to the pharmacy will especially be helpful for low-income women who work odd hours, women in rural and remote areas and women in politics,” joked Rep. Pettersen to the room full of female politicians.

HB17-1186, also sponsored by Rep. Lois Landgraf, R-Fountain, requires health insurance plans to cover a twelve-month supply of contraception 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 House floor for second reading.

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