Every year, thousands of women find themselves struggling with an unplanned pregnancy. The State of California is doing their part to help reduce the number of recently passed the Pavley Birth Control Bill (Senate Bill 999). The Bill would require public and private health insurance plans to cover a one year’s supply hormonal contraceptives like birth control, the ring and the patch when prescribed by their doctor, The issue is not the doctors as they because they can write 12-month prescriptions the problem is is that the insurance companies won’t cover them for more than a 30- or 90-day supplies at a time. This bill will also allow other health care provides to write these prescriptions as well.
The bill’s namesake & author, Senator Frances J. “Fran” Pavley, is a Democratic politician who currently represents California’s 27th State Senate district. “There is a need for consistent, uninterrupted contraception. It’s especially important, she said, for women who live in rural areas, or whose busy schedules make it difficult to get to the pharmacy to keep refilling a prescription. “It’s a bill whose time has come.” She’s not the only one that feels that way,the bill is sponsored by three of California’s leading reproductive-health advocates, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, the California Family Health Council and NARAL Pro Choice California.
US San Francisco did a study and according to an LA Times article on the issue, the results show what this bill is so impactful: “To get a handle on the issue, UC San Francisco researchers analyzed the birth control supplies and pregnancy rates among 84,401 California women. The study was conducted in 2011 based on data from 2006. Eleven percent of the women got a one-year supply of birth control, 58% got a three-month supply, and 20% got a one-month supply. Women who received only a 30-day or 90-day supply of contraception had a much higher rate of unintended pregnancy than women who took home a year’s supply at a time.”
This study was only done in for a moderate number of women in California – imagine if this study was done for the same number of women in every state. The numbers would be astounding and further proof that this a socially and fiscally sound approach.
“This is a smart, proven policy that will improve the lives of California women, reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions, and lower health-care costs,” Pavley said in a statement. “For women who work, go to school, raise children and have otherwise demanding schedules, this will eliminate the need for repetitive trips to the pharmacy and reduce gaps in access to birth control.”