Reed, Whitehouse reintroduce Affordability is Access Act for birth control

WASHINGTON (WLNE) — Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, alongside 26 other senators, reintroduced the Affordability is Access Act Wednesday to ensure women across the country have access to over-the-counter birth control without a prescription.

“At a time when Republicans are making it harder for women to access health care, including contraception, this critical legislation would ensure that women are able to access affordable, FDA-approved birth control, whether by prescription or over-the-counter,” Reed said. “Contraception is health care and every woman deserves to make their own private medical decisions.”

The bill would ensure coverage for all FDA-approved birth control medications by all private insurers, as well as maintain the FDA’s role to approve these drugs and ensure that retailers provide them without a prescription.

“These extremists have made clear that their attack on women’s rights won’t stop with abortion care, and they’ve already set their sights on curbing contraception access,” Whitehouse said. “If the FDA decides to make birth control more accessible to women by offering it over the counter, Congress should make sure it can still be covered by insurance.”

The legislation is led by Sens. Patty Murray of Washington, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, alongside 23 other lawmakers. There is companion legislation in the House of Representatives led by Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, and Ami Bera of California.

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