Washington lawmakers take steps to ease birth control access


Washington lawmakers passed a bill allowing women in the state to get 12-month refills. / Photo courtesy (cc) 2014 Sarah Mirk

A common argument heard from some anti-abortion activists (namely, the non-religious ones) is that women should use contraceptives instead of resorting to abortion as a form of birth control. But here’s a little dark secret that most people often don’t talk about: birth control pills aren’t all that easy to get.

Under most forms of private insurance, birth control are free or available at a low cost. However, due to those insurance restrictions, women can often only get packs that last one month at a time. In some cases, you can get packs that last for three months.

The result is a lot of trips to the pharmacy, which can be a burden for middle-class or upper-class women, but nearly impossible for low-income women—especially those who work long hours or multiple jobs, don’t have cars or can’t afford public transportation.

Lawmakers in Washington State just took a step to make getting birth control a bit easier for women in the state. The State Legislature passed a bill allowing women to get 12-month refills for their prescriptions at a time. It now awaits a signature from Gov. Jay Inslee.

If passed, the law would do wonders to ease access to birth control for women in the state, especially those who face additional barriers due to their income status.


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