(March 16) – Rep. Brittany Pettersen’s bill to give women access to 12 months of contraception at one time earned initial approval from the House this morning.

“This is a simple change that doesn’t increase cost and ensures that women—instead of coming back to the pharmacy every month—can take home their 12-month prescription,” said Rep. Pettersen, D-Lakewood. “This simple change increases access, reduces unintended pregnancies by 30 percent and decreases 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 House floor for final approval.

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