Planned Parenthood applauds Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) for introducing the Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act.
This important legislation protects women’s access to basic, preventive health care and ensures that women will not be denied birth control or emergency contraception at the pharmacy counter.
“Birth control is basic health care for women. Women should be able to walk into any pharmacy, anywhere in the country, and get birth control, including emergency contraception, without discrimination or delay,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We applaud Senator Lautenberg and Representative Maloney for introducing this commonsense bill to help ensure women have access to birth control.”
The Access to Birth Control Act (ABC) Act
• requires pharmacies to fill birth control prescriptions and provide access to over-the-counter contraceptives in a timely manner
• requires pharmacies help a woman to obtain medication without delay by the method of her preference – order, referral, or a transferred prescription – if the requested product is not in stock but the pharmacy stocks other forms of contraception
• protects women from being intimidated, threatened, or harassed for requesting contraception
• strikes a proper balance between the rights of individual pharmacists who might have personal objections to contraception and the rights of women to receive their medication
Every effort should be made to increase access to birth control and help reduce unintended pregnancies in the United States. The unintended pregnancy rate in the United States ranks among the highest among the world’s most developed countries. In addition, unintended pregnancy costs taxpayers $11 billion a year, according to a recent study from the Guttmacher Institute. Most importantly, birth control allows women to plan and space their pregnancies, thus improving maternal, infant, and family health.
Senator Lautenberg and Congresswoman Maloney introduced the ABC Act just days after the Institute of Medicine highlighted the importance of contraception and recommended that birth control be included as a women’s preventive health service and be covered by insurance plans without additional co-pays.
July 26, 2011
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
July 26, 2011