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Oregon leads the way on reproductive freedom

Year round birth control for women without having to go to the doctor every 90 days...

Year round birth control for women without having to go to the doctor every 90 days…

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon today praised the Oregon Senate for unanimously passing a landmark bill to expand birth control access.

House Bill 3343 guarantees access for women to a full 12-month supply of contraception at one time. Dispensing a one-year supply of birth control is associated with a 30 percent reduction in the odds of conceiving an unplanned pregnancy compared with dispensing for 30 or 90 days.

The bill passed the House of Representatives last month with a 55-2 bipartisan vote, and was adopted unanimously by the Senate today. This will make Oregon the first state in the nation to require health insurance companies to give a year’s supply of the pill, the patch or the ring at the same time.

“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.”

Making contraception more accessible also saves money: Medical research shows that having a full 12-month supply of birth control all at once can reduce the chance of unintended pregnancy by 30 percent. By preventing just one unintended pregnancy, an insurer will save the cost of a delivery – a minimum of $17,400. That is enough savings to pay for 29 additional years of contraception.

“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.”

The bill now goes to Governor Kate Brown who is expected to sign it.

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