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This legislative session we are ready to fight for what people in Alaska need. We will push for the expansion of birth control coverage, statewide sex education standards, and equal rights for our LGBTQ friends and family. And we will stand strong in the face of attacks on our health and rights.

12 Months of Birth Control

We all deserve affordable and accessible birth control that works for us, regardless of our income or insurance carrier. Consistent access to birth control gives people the ability to control when and if they have children, giving them more career and education opportunities, encouraging healthier pregnancies, and making them less likely to depend on government programs. But for people who lack access to transportation, move frequently, or struggle to balance work and family, monthly trips to the pharmacy make perfect use challenging. The legislature should ensure that all people have consistent access to contraceptives by requiring insurance to cover a year’s supply of birth control at a time and the full range of contraceptive methods with no out-of-pocket costs.

Access to Sex Education

Young people have the right to the information and skills they need to protect their health. They also need to understand what a healthy relationship looks like and have the opportunity to practice good communication skills and affirmative consent before they become sexually active. This is especially true in Alaska, where we have some of the nation’s highest rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexual assault. But in 2016 lawmakers passed dangerous sex ed restrictions that put barriers between students and the information they need. The legislature should repeal these restrictions and put in place strong standards for sex ed to make sure all Alaska youth get the education they need and deserve.

LGBTQ Rights

Our state’s non-discrimination law already prohibits discrimination based on sex, age, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or national origin. However, these protections do not extend to lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people, leaving our LGBTQ neighbors at risk for discrimination. Everyday people across the state live in fear of being fired or being denied housing, public service, or other opportunities because they are gay or transgender. The legislature should expand our state’s basic human rights protections to keep all people in Alaska safe from discrimination, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.