Democrats introduce bill to make birth control available OTC

Senate and House Democrats introduced legislation Thursday that would require insurance companies to cover OTC birth control. The Affordability is Access Act—sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), along with Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ami Bera (D-CA), and Katie Hill (D-CA)—is intended to increase access to affordable birth control. "Women seeking contraceptive care shouldn't find they have to pay extra, ask permission, or hurdle barriers put up by politicians who think their ideology is more important than a woman's personal health care decisions," said Murray in a statement. Bera, a physician, added that "[a]ccess to affordable contraception is critical for women's reproductive health. It enables women to live healthier lives and enhances their economic security." The legislation has been endorsed by the National Women's Law Center, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the National Partnership for Women and Families, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, the Guttmacher Institute, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Civil Liberties Union, Physicians for Reproductive Health, and Power to Decide.

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