Concord, NH - Today SB 421, relative to insurance coverage for prescription contraceptives, was signed into law by Governor Sununu. This bill, known as the NH ACCESS bill - to Advance Contraceptive Coverage and Economic Security Statewide - passed with broad, bipartisan support in both chambers. This bill will protect and expand access to contraception for Granite State women. For over 100 years, Planned Parenthood has been committed to expanding access to birth control information and services, and this new law reflects that mission. We are at a 30-year low for unintended pregnancy and a historic low for pregnancy among teenagers, and Planned Parenthood is proud to build on these commendable public health statistics in New Hampshire.
SB 421 enhances New Hampshire’s Contraceptive Equity Law to reflect current coverage and best medical practices by incorporating a no-cost provision and adding an insurance coverage requirement to include a 12-month supply of prescribed, self-administered contraceptives at one dispensing interval. This proposal will improve women’s health and economic security, and reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in New Hampshire.
Statement from Kayla Montgomery, Director of Advocacy and Organizing for Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund:
“We are thrilled that Granite State women now have improved access to contraception. We’re proud of the bipartisan support SB 421 garnered, illustrating New Hampshire’s longstanding commitment to ensuring women’s access to affordable contraception to manage their health and avoid unintended pregnancies. And we’re thankful for the many legislators who stood up for women’s health with the passage of this bill. While a handful of extreme legislators will continue to try to roll back the clock on reproductive rights, Planned Parenthood will never stop advocating for advancing women’s health and reproductive rights, improving access to contraception, and advocating for healthier communities.”
Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
"This is a huge victory for women in the state of New Hampshire. Everyone deserves the freedom and opportunity to control their lives and bodies. We've seen an incredible grassroots movement growing that’s starting to make policy change across this country. We applaud New Hampshire for joining this movement to support access to essential reproductive health care.
"As the Trump-Pence administration continues to undermine health care and rights at every turn, it's more important than ever that we fight forward to advance policies that not only protect, but also expand access to health care. At Planned Parenthood, we'll never stop fighting for our patients."
Planned Parenthood NH Action Fund was proud to lead a broad coalition of health care providers, advocates, and organizations to support the passage of SB 421. This coalition included: the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) New Hampshire chapter; New Futures; the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation; the Equality Health Center; the Joan G. Lovering Health Center; ACLU of New Hampshire; New Hampshire Public Health Association; New Hampshire Nurses Association; Bi-State Primary Care Association; National Association of Social Workers - New Hampshire Chapter; the YWCA of New Hampshire; MomsRising; and dozens of New Hampshire medical professionals.
Background on ACCESS Campaign
A bipartisan, multi-stakeholder study commission composed of legislators, medical professionals, and public health experts developed the policies underlying SB 421, and unanimously endorsed this legislation. SB 421 updates New Hampshire’s long-standing “Contraceptive Equity Law” to protect New Hampshire women against the current attacks on contraception at the federal level and adds a coverage requirement for a 12 month supply of contraception at a single dispensing period.
- Access to a multiple month supply is in line with the recommendations for Quality Family Planning Services issued by the CDC and the Office of Population Affairs, which recommended that providers should “provide or prescribe multiple cycles (ideally a full year’s supply) of oral contraceptive pills, the patch, or the ring” to reduce barriers to care and facilitate consistent use of contraception. According to studies, inconsistent use of contraception accounts for 41 percent of unintended pregnancies.
- SB 421 recognizes that women use birth control for a variety of reasons — in fact, 58% of all women who use the pill rely on it, at least in part, for something other than pregnancy prevention, including endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (which is prevalent among women of color), fibroids, and menstrual regulation.
- A majority of voters consider contraceptives part of basic health care services.
- 90% see access to birth control as an important part of women’s ability to control their bodies, lives and futures.
- 7 in 10 voters support legislation to provide birth control without a co-pay.
- There is a real need for affordable birth control in the Granite State. In 2014, the Guttmacher Institute found that 65,530 women in New Hampshire were in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) is the largest provider of reproductive and sexual health care for women, men and teens across the State of New Hampshire. We serve New Hampshire residents through 6 health centers in Claremont, Derry, Exeter, Keene, Manchester and White River Junction, VT. Last year we saw more than 11,000 patients at these sites.
Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund (PPNHAF) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.
 Center for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Office of Population Affairs. Providing Quality Family Planning Services: Recommendations of CDC and the U.S. Office of Population Affairs, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 63(4): 1-29 (April 25, 2014).
 “Analysis of California Senate Bill (SB) 999 Contraceptives: Annual Supply.” California Health Benefits Review Program, 2016.