(June 5) – Rep. Brittany Pettersen’s bipartisan bill giving women access to 12 months of contraception at one time was signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper this afternoon.
“At a time when women’s rights are at risk nationally and in other states, Colorado has shown it is moving forward, not backward,” said Rep. Pettersen, D-Lakewood. “This bill makes a simple change with a huge impact. By giving women their full year supply of birth control, we are addressing a barrier to ensure consistent access – giving women more control over if and when they want to start a family.”
A study by the University of California at San Francisco Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health found that access to 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 likelihood of an abortion.
“In Colorado we agree: birth control is a basic health care need,” continued Rep. Pettersen. “This bill means fewer trips to the pharmacy and healthier outcomes for Colorado women.”
HB17-1186, also sponsored by Rep. Lois Landgraf, R-Fountain, allows women to take home a full year supply of contraception at one time following an initial three-month trial of any new prescription. Supporters rallied on the west steps of the Capitol to celebrate the occasion before heading in to the Governor’s office for the bill signing.
Access to birth control is important for women’s health for many reasons in addition to reducing unintended pregnancies. Other reasons women choose birth control 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.