Military Spending Bill Fails to Include Key Birth Control Provision

(Washington, D.C) Today, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), without including a key provision from the Access to Contraception for Servicemembers and Dependents Act that improves access to contraceptive care and counseling for non-Active Duty service members and military families.

Behind closed doors, Republican Members of Congress opposed a critical provision that would have required TRICARE—the program that provides health insurance for servicemembers and their families—to cover birth control without copays for non-Active Duty servicemembers and dependents. Currently, Active Duty servicemembers, most civilians, and federal civilian employees have health coverage of contraceptive care without cost sharing. Removing cost barriers to contraception is critical to helping individuals and families better plan and space their pregnancies, improve overall health outcomes, and gain financial security.

The following is a statement by Gretchen Borchelt, Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health at the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC):

“It’s outrageous that Republican Members of Congress have blocked efforts to ensure servicemembers and their families have access to the same birth control coverage as other people across the country. Congress has the authority to fix this inequity. But what’s even more egregious is that they are doing this on the heels of the Supreme Court greenlighting Texas’s dangerous vigilante 6-week abortion ban and considering whether to overturn the right to abortion altogether. This is a clear, coordinated attack on all of our reproductive freedoms. We’re thankful to the champions who have fought tirelessly to remove barriers to care, and we will continue to fight with them until everyone can get the care they need.”