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July 22, 2015 / Press Releases

NARAL Pro-Choice America Calls for Swift Passage of OTC Birth-Control Bill Introduced Today in House of Representatives

July 22, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Reps. Tammy Duckworth, Patrick Murphy, and Joe Crowley introduced the Affordability Is Access Act, a bill that would build on the contraception coverage guarantee in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by ensuring that health plans cover the sale of all over-the-counter birth-control pills that are FDA approved. This is the House companion to the Senate bill of the same name introduced by Sen. Patty Murray in June.
Sasha Bruce, senior vice president of campaigns and strategy for NARAL Pro-Choice America released the following statement:
“Women literally can’t afford politicians who claim to support access to affordable birth-control but do nothing to back it up. That’s why we are proud to support the Affordability Is Access Act. Unlike the typical attempts to ban birth-control and abortion under the guise of protecting women’s health, this bill is a real step forward in guaranteeing women access to basic reproductive-health care. 

“Access to affordable birth control is a significant way to reduce the need for abortion services, which should be a shared goal on both sides of the aisle. The Affordability is Access Act is a chance for Speaker Boehner and other anti-choice members to stand on common ground with us and give women the family-planning tools they need.

“NARAL is proud to support pro-choice champions like Reps. Duckworth, Murphy, and Crowley who believe that a woman – not her pharmacist, boss, or backwards politician — has the right to decide when, if, and how to have a child.”

The Affordability Is Access bill:

  • Guarantees that any daily birth-control pill approved by the FDA for sale without a prescription will be covered by health insurance.
  • Builds on the ACA’s no-cost contraceptive-coverage benefit – so women are guaranteed no-cost birth control at least two ways.
  • Guarantees that a store clerk cannot refuse to let you purchase the pill, when it is approved for sale without a prescription. (Note: the bill does not require every store to stock the pill – but those that do cannot then refuse to sell it.)
  • Reinforces the essential principle that health experts at the FDA – not politicians – are the ones that decide which medications are safe and effective for over-the-counter sale.

The ACA birth-control benefit protects access to birth control without a copay for more than 55 million women. In the first year it was available, American women and families saved $483 million on their birth control pill prescriptions alone thanks to this benefit.

NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”


Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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