Legislative News from Representative June Robinson (D-Everett)
February 11, 2016
House passes bill to increase consistent access to birth control
OLYMPIA – Bipartisan support for more access to birth control helped House Bill 2465 pass out of the House today on a 91-6 vote. The bill, sponsored by Rep. June Robinson will allow women to receive 12 months of birth control at one time, giving women greater and more consistent access to birth control.
“We all know that birth control is only effective when taken regularly. Studies show that when women need to visit a pharmacy every month or every three months, they are more likely to miss doses,” said Robinson. “Allowing a full year’s worth of birth control to be dispensed at one time is a commonsense solution that will increase the ability of women to take care of their health.”
Currently, women who have Medicaid insurance can already access 12 months of birth control at once. This bill would ensure that access to a year’s worth of birth control would be available to women who have private insurance as well. Washington would be the second state in the nation to require all insurers to cover 12-month supplies of birth control. Oregon passed a similar law in 2015.
“For many women, going to the pharmacy every month is time-consuming and costly leading to missed doses, which can result in an unintended pregnancy,” said Robinson. “During the committee hearing on this bill, we heard from women who struggled to get to a pharmacy each month. One woman testified about the time and cost she incurred while travelling 25 miles each month to get to the nearest pharmacy.”
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.