12-month birth control access bill passes Senate

SALEM, Ore. - Women in Oregon are now guaranteed access to a 12-month supply of contraception at one time after the Oregon Senate unanimously passed House Bill 3343 Tuesday.

This bill makes Oregon the first state in the country to require health insurance companies to give a year's supply of the pill, the patch, or the ring at the same time.

According to Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, dispensing a one-year supply of birth control is associated with a 30 percent reduction in the odds of conceiving an unplanned pregnancy compared to only dispensing 30 or 90 days of contraceptive.

"With this bill, Oregon will lead the nation - once again in improving women's health care and reducing the cost of health care," said Mary Nolan, Interim Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon. "This is the most significant leap forward for reducing unintended pregnancies in a generation."

"Prescriptive contraceptives are highly effective and an important part of family planning for many Oregonians, but they need to be used consistently," said Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D-Beaverton), who carried the bill on the floor and is a family physician. "Ensuring that women have access to 12 continuous months of birth control will improve consistent use and better serve women juggling demanding schedules."

Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham), chair of the Senate Health Care Committee, added: "99 percent of women will use some form of birth control at some point in their lives. With House Bill 3343, Oregon will be the first state in the country to ensure that women have reliable and steady access to a full year of oral contraceptives."

Last month, the bill passed the House of Representatives with a 55-2 bipartisan vote.

The bill now goes to Governon Kate Brown for her consideration.

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