State lawmakers seeking to protect access to birth control

Women would be able to get free access to contraception under the bill

BOSTON (WWLP) – State lawmakers are moving forward with a bill that calls for free birth control.

Advocates say the legislation would protect birth control access for Massachusetts women if there are coverage changes on the federal level.

Insurers are currently required to cover contraception with no cost-sharing under the Affordable Care Act.

But with Republican efforts in Washington, D.C. to repeal the ACA, Massachusetts lawmakers are pushing to pass a bill that would secure birth control access for Massachusetts women.

The bill would grant copay-free coverage for birth control. The House approved the proposal Wednesday in a 138 to 16 vote.

Under the bill, women would be able to get free access to contraception, including a 12-month supply of birth control after successfully completing a three-month prescription.

“Women don’t have to keep going back to their pharmacy for a drug they’ve been on for a while,” Johanna Kaiser of Planned Parenthood said. “It’s really important for rural women who may not live close to a city or women who are working multiple jobs.”

Some religious groups who don’t think birth control should be subsidized oppose the legislation.