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BOISE – Today, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii (PPVNH) praised the passage of Six Months of Birth Control out of the Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee. This legislation will help reduce medically unnecessary barriers to birth control access. Senate Bill 1275 allows for consistent access to birth control by allowing them to receive six months at a time, meaning they would only have to return to the pharmacy twice a year. Co-sponsors of SB 1275 are Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb and Representative Melissa Wintrow. A similar bill was introduced in 2018 in the State Senate, but failed to move out of committee. 

The public hearing was held earlier today, where the Senate Commerce and Human Resources committee members heard about the benefits of six months of birth control.

“Birth control is basic health care and eliminating arbitrary restrictions on insurance coverage of birth control will ensure more Idahoans are able to effectively use the birth control method that works best for them,” said Mistie Tolman, Idaho Legislative Director at PPVNH. “Planned Parenthood is proud to support this commonsense solution because going to the pharmacy every month is not always convenient and we should be making basic preventive health care more accessible, not less.”

Currently, 20 states including California, Hawaii, Oregon, Colorado, and the District of Columbia already allow up to 12 months of birth control to be dispensed at a time. In addition, more proactive legislation, including measures on sex education and contraception access, was enacted in the first six months of 2019 than abortion restrictions and bans.

Consistent use of birth control is the most effective method of preventing pregnancy, but birth control pills must be taken every day -- even one missed pill can leave a person susceptible to an unintended pregnancy. Today, most women have to refill their birth control every month. This is a burden for many that can lead to inconsistent use, which accounts for 43 percent of all unintended pregnancies.

Both the CDC and the US Office of Population Affairs recommend providing or prescribing multiple cycles, ideally a full year’s supply of birth control to reduce barriers to care and facilitate consistent use of contraception.