Getting your birth control really shouldn’t be as hard as some folks are trying to make it. Between allowing virtually any employer to deny insurance coverage of birth control and trying to decimate the ACA, the Trump Administration has made clear that it wants obstacles between you and your health care, including birth control. That’s why protections, like those in the Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act, introduced today, are more important than ever.
Sen. Cory Booker introduced the Act to protect women in situations where a pharmacy refuses to fill their prescription for birth control, or sell them over-the-counter emergency contraceptives. These refusals are not based on legitimate medical or professional concerns, but rather a pharmacist’s personal beliefs. For a woman, these refusals can have devastating consequences for her health, can lead to unintended pregnancy, and can have a negative impact on her wellbeing and economic security. Women should not be forced to leave the pharmacy without the birth control they need. The ABC Act will ensure that every woman will be able to leave her pharmacy with her medication in hand and her dignity intact.
Seamless access to birth control is a critical health and economic issue for women. Birth control helps reduce unintended pregnancy, which can have negative consequences for both women and their children. When a woman is able to plan if and when to become a parent, she can better secure her future. And yet, barriers continue to impede a woman’s ability to get the birth control method that is right for her and her circumstances.
This ABC Act isn’t just necessary at the federal level – that’s why we’ve recommended that states adopt it too. While this is only one step towards ensuring women can access birth control, it is an important one.
If you have experienced a pharmacy refusal, please contact the National Women’s Law Center at 1-866-PILL4US.