Democrats introduce bill in attempt to increase birth control access

By Yifan Yu, The Daily Cardinal


Two Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow women to extend their birth control prescriptions for a year after receiving an initial three-month supply.

Currently, health insurance plans in Wisconsin only cover contraceptive prescriptions ranging from one to three months. Bill authors state Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, and state Sen. Nikiya Harris Dodd, D-Milwaukee, believe that allowing women to obtain birth care for up to a year would improve accessibility and make it more effective.
Shankland said birth control is required for almost all women at some point in life, but consistency is essential for it to be effective.
“For birth control to be effective, consistency is key,” Shankland said in a press release. “There is no medical reason why a woman should only receive a monthly supply of her birth control.”
Harris Dodd noted the bill removes barriers for women to get birth control.
“Trips to the pharmacy can be time-consuming and burdensome,” Harris Dodd said in the release. “This bill allows mothers the opportunity to access birth control without unnecessary extra visits to the pharmacy.”
In the press release, the bill authors stated that “dispensing a 12-month supply of birth control at one time reduces the odds of unintended pregnancy by 30 percent and abortion rates by 46 percent.”
The bill comes as a larger abortion debate in Wisconsin rages on. The state Legislature approved two bills earlier in the month, defunding Planned Parenthood and diverting funds to other health providers, which Democrats say limits access to birth control.