Monday, June 12, 2017
New York Times (June 10, 2017): States Lead the Fight Against the President's Rollback of Birth Control, by Sheryl Gay Stolberg:
The Trump Administration's draft rule, leaked last week, would expand the number of employers and insurers that could claim exemptions under current Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate. In anticipation of this type of Department of Health and Human Services regulation and other federal threats to birth control access, a number of states are considering state laws to ensure access to affordable birth control.
In 2014, California was the first state to pass legislation that codified the ACA's birth control mandate under state law. Illinois, Vermont and Maryland have also passed contraceptive equity laws. State lawmakers are also looking at how to make contraceptives more accessible. Last week, Nevada's Republican governor signed a bill requiring insurers to cover 12 months of birth control at a time with no co-payment. Washington and Colorado recently passed similar bills.
According the New York Times, "[c]urrently, 28 states have some type of 'contraceptive equity' law aimed at making birth control cheaper and more accessible." Efforts to pass state legislation to expand contraceptive coverage and access can codify current ACA provisions at the state level and even expand access in some states. But sole reliance on state initiatives will create unequal access to contraceptives for women based on where they live.