In the lead-up to the Minnesota legislative session, Rep. Erin Murphy has introduced legislation to require insurers to cover 12 months of contraceptives.
Despite massive strides made by the Affordable Care Act in treating reproductive healthcare as preventative rather than the ability to have a child as a pre-existing condition, barriers to reproductive healthcare remain. The requirement to make 12-month contraceptives accessible goes a long way in overcoming some of those barriers, like multiple trips to a pharmacy and waiting hours at a doctor’s office for a new prescription.
In 2011, more than 13% of women surveyed said that they’d delayed getting needed healthcare due to logistical reasons, and ⅔ of women said in a survey that they favored increased availability of contraceptives.
These kinds of laws will support many working families who have irregular work hours, unreliable access to transportation, and other responsibilities that make it more difficult to get to a pharmacy or a doctor’s office. That 13% number? It jumps to nearly 1 in 5 women under the poverty line that report that they’ve had delayed access to healthcare due to logistical or structural factors.
In 2012, Rep. Murphy said, “When it comes to accessing preventative care and services, we should not have a system of haves and haves not, winners and losers. Instead, we should be focused on policies that ensure that all Minnesotans have equitable access to the care they need.” This is just as true four years down the road, and we’re so glad that Rep. Murphy has continued her tireless advocacy for women’s healthcare.