Lawmakers discuss legislation to ensure equitable access to contraceptives
Rep. Kevin Boyle October 28, 2020 | 2:24 PM
HARRISBURG, Oct. 28 – State Reps. Leanne Krueger, Kevin Boyle and Tina Davis today discussed legislation to expand and protect access to contraceptives.
Krueger, Boyle and Davis introduced H.B. 2813 following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows virtually any employer to opt out of the Affordable Care Act mandate to provide contraceptive coverage if they object to birth control on religious or moral grounds. The bill would protect access to this important form of health care by making sure insurers in Pennsylvania provide coverage for contraception.
“Now more than ever, we need Pennsylvania to take action. Creating barriers to this basic preventative care puts the health and well-being of millions of Pennsylvania women at risk,” said Krueger, D-Delaware. “In addition to preventing unintended pregnancies, contraceptives are often used to address a variety of women’s health issues. This legislation would help make sure women are able to make their own medical decisions and receive quality care.”
Boyle, D-Montgomery/Phila, said, "Birth control is health care, and health care should be accessible to everyone. With the recent decision by the Supreme Court potentially cutting off access to birth control for 2.5 million women, it's vital that we act to provide another option to ensure women have access to the health care they need."
Davis, D-Bucks, added, “Contraception is a fundamental aspect of reproductive justice for women. Reproductive justice ensures that women can make decisions about their bodies and have the economic resources to plan their own families. As such, contraception is basic health care, and employers should not be allowed to decide what medical care a woman has the right to receive. Access to contraception is key to upward economic mobility, and equal access to birth control will ensure a just and fair society.”
The lawmakers were joined in a virtual news conference today by representatives of the Women’s Law Project and Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates.
"The recent and ongoing attacks on contraception access for low-income and working people are cruel, anti-science, and out of step with the American people. They are targeted attacks on low-income workers and women of color, the very citizens our federal government calls ‘essential’ while working to deprive them of their most basic of human rights,” said Tara Murtha, director of strategic communications for Women’s Law Project. “It is more urgent than ever to ground this right in the state. We urge the Pennsylvania legislature to prioritize passing H.B. 2813."
Signe Espinoza, director of policy for Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, said, “This bill will not only expand contraceptive access for millions of Pennsylvanians, it will make it possible for people to access birth control that is best for them. As we continue to navigate unprecedented attacks on sexual and reproductive health care and COVID-19, this bill will help to create a future where people have access to resources they need to make decisions about their bodies and their lives.”
House Bill 2813 has been assigned to the House Insurance Committee.