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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Strickland Calls On HHS To Reduce Barriers To Birth Control

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), a leader in the Pro-Choice Caucus, member of the Democratic Women’s Caucus and Black Maternal Health Caucus, along with Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) and Jackie Speier (CA-14) led a letter encouraging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue guidance requiring insurance companies to cover, without cost-sharing, a 12-month supply of birth control. While the Affordable Care Act requires insurance coverage of contraception without cost sharing, insurance companies often limit coverage to a one- or three-cycle supply, imposing barriers to continuous access.

“Improving access to a longer supply of birth control supports body autonomy, health, and economic freedom for millions and I am proud to champion this effort to do just that. During a global pandemic, a maternal mortality crisis, and as reproductive rights are under attack, the people who are hurt the most by limited access to contraceptives are those who already experience health inequities in the first place —including people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and other vulnerable communities.” Said Congresswoman Strickland.

“Access to birth control is essential to reproductive freedom, health, and economic stability,” said Congresswoman Bonamici. “We must make birth control as easy to access as possible, especially at a time when reproductive rights are under attack and health care has been disrupted. Making a 12-month supply of contraceptives available and affordable will reduce barriers and increase autonomy for millions.” 

The letter has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, Upstream USA, National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association.

“Reproductive Justice demands that women, femmes, and gender-expansive people have the right to make decisions about planning their own families. In fact, a recent poll commissioned by In Our Own Voice found that 92% of respondents believe a woman’s ability to control whether or when she has children is an important part of financial stability for herself and her family,” said Marcela Howell, president & CEO of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda. “We encourage the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue guidance requiring insurance companies to cover, without cost-sharing, a 12-month supply of birth control to people seeking contraceptive care.” 

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