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Kaine, Fetterman, & Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Expand Access to Contraception

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, joined Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) and other colleagues in introducing the Convenient Contraception Act, legislation that would improve access to contraceptive products. Specifically, the bill would provide individuals covered by private health insurance with the option to receive up to a full year of contraception, including over-the-counter contraceptives, at the time their prescription is issued instead of the current three-month supply or less that is standard in many states. The full-year approach is an evidence-based policy that improves health outcomes. Current Virginia law requires health insurers to cover up to 12 months of contraception and provides patients with the option to pick up a year’s supply of contraception at one time. The Convenient Contraception Act would expand Virginia’s progress nationwide.

“Contraception is essential for the management of many health conditions and family planning. It should be easily accessible,” said Kaine. “I’m proud to join together with my colleagues in support of this legislation to make it more convenient and affordable for women to pick up their contraceptive medication. I will also continue to fight for my bipartisan Reproductive Freedom for All that would codify the essential holdings of Roe v. Wade and related cases to protect Americans’ access to both abortion and contraception.”

Many private health insurance plans require a patient to pick up their contraception prescription multiple times over the duration of a prescription, creating an unnecessary burden and increasing the likelihood of gaps in protection. The Convenient Contraception Act permits individuals covered by private health insurance plans to pick up their full prescription supply, up to one year, at one time and requires these plans to cover the full cost at the time of pick-up. Removing barriers to contraception can help reduce racial and ethnic disparities and decrease the likelihood of unintended pregnancies.

Kaine has long supported efforts to protect reproductive health care. He introduced the bipartisan Reproductive Freedom for All Act, which would codify the essential holdings of Roe v. Wade and related cases protecting women’s rights to access abortion and contraception. He is also a cosponsor of the Right to Contraception Act, which would codify Americans’ right to contraception.

The Convenient Contraception Act is cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

The Convenient Contraception Act is endorsed by American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; Catholics for Choice; Center for American Progress; Contraceptive Access Initiative; Every Mother Counts; In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda; MomsRising; NARAL Pro-Choice America; National Council of Jewish Women; National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association; National Partnership for Women & Families; National Women’s Law Center; Physicians for Reproductive Health; Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Power to Decide; The Collaborative; and What to Expect Project.

Full text of the bill is available here.