Durbin Cosponsors Legislation to Expand Access to Contraception

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today announced that he is cosponsoring U.S. Senator John Fetterman’s (D-PA) and U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood’s (D-IL-14) Convenient Contraception Act, legislation that would improve access to contraceptive products, including over-the-counter birth control.

The bill provides individuals covered by private health insurance with the option to receive up to a full year of birth control at the time their prescription is issued instead of the current three-month supply or less that is standard in many states—an evidence-based policy that improves health outcomes.

“Living in a post-Roe America, it is more important than ever that we work to protect and expand access to contraception.  Everyone should have the right to decide when and if they want to start a family,” said Durbin.  “With the Convenient Contraception Act, we can ensure that Americans have reliable access to contraceptives without unnecessary barriers or financial constraints.”

Currently, many private health insurance plans require a patient to pick up their contraception prescription multiple times over the duration of a prescription, creating an unnecessary burden and increasing the likelihood of gaps in protection. The Convenient Contraception Act permits individuals covered by private health insurance plans to pick up their full prescription supply, up to one year, at one time and requires these plans to cover the full cost at the time of pick-up. Removing barriers to contraception can help reduce racial and ethnic disparities and decrease the likelihood of unintended pregnancies, which have been linked to adverse health effects, including maternal depression, intimate partner violence, low birth weight, and preterm birth.

In addition to Durbin and Fetterman, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) cosponsor the legislation.

The Convenient Contraception Act is endorsed by American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; Catholics for Choice; Center forAmerican Progress; Contraceptive Access Initiative; Every Mother Counts; In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda; MomsRising; NARAL Pro-Choice America; National Council of Jewish Women; National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association; National Partnership for Women & Families; National Women’s Law Center; Physicians forReproductive Health; Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Power to Decide; The Collaborative; and What to Expect Project.