Congress Expands Birth Control Access for Service Members
For Immediate Release: July 12, 2019
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives approved two amendments to the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would expand contraception and reproductive health care access for service members. Most service members receive health insurance coverage through TRICARE, which currently does not offer comprehensive contraception coverage and reproductive health care resources for service members and their families.
Statement of Dr. Leana Wen, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
All people have the right to access birth control and other reproductive health care in order to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. We applaud our reproductive health champions in Congress for expanding access to this critical care for military service members as we continue to work in partnership to ensure all people can access the full range of reproductive health care — no matter what.
The amendments were offered by Reps. Jackie Speier (CA-14), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Katie Hill (CA-25), Deb Haaland (NM-01), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Judy Chu (CA-27), and Barbara Lee (CA-13). One amendment adopted into the underlying bill clarifies that all FDA-approved contraceptive methods are covered by TRICARE without a copay, and brings TRICARE in line with the ACA’s birth control benefits. The second amendment passed by a vote of 231-199 establishes a standard family planning education program across all branches of the military, increasing service members’ ability to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.