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PPAO Praises House for Expanding Birth Control Access

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon today praised the Oregon House of Representatives for showing wide bipartisan support for a groundbreaking bill that will expand access to birth control.

House Bill 3343, which provides access for women to a full 12-month supply of contraception at one time, passed by a 55-2 vote with bipartisan support. Dispensing a one-year supply of birth control is associated with a 30 percent reduction in the odds of conceiving an unplanned pregnancy compared with dispensing for 30 or 90 days.

Not only have numerous studies shown the benefits of 12 month dispensing, but it also reduces barriers for women all over Oregon. Rural Oregonians often have long distances to travel and cannot make it to the pharmacy on a monthly basis. Others may not have a confidential mail box where they feel safe having their birth control delivered.

Stacy M. Cross, Board Member for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon and President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, testified in favor of HB 3343: "We also know it is in the best interest of insurers to keep costs down, and this bill will reduce costs. The average commercial insurer payment for all maternal and newborn care ranges from $18,000 to $28,000. The average hormonal birth control costs range from $100 to $600 a year. By preventing just one unintended pregnancy, an insurer will save a minimum of $17,400. That is enough savings to pay for 29 additional years of contraception."

High school junior Ceci Patten also testified in favor of the legislation. For a young woman using birth control, the issue is simple: "Something as important and effective as birth control should just a little bit easier to get."

Alicia Temple, Policy Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, said: "Improved access to a full range of birth control services has resulted in a 40-year low in teen pregnancy and abortion rates. Advances in women's health have paved the way for women to be a driving force in our economy, and access to reproductive health care is directly related to women's ability to finish school and succeed professionally. We want to thank the Oregon House for passing this commonsense legislation regardless of party affiliation.

"We were pleased to hear from several male legislators who testified that they deferred to their wives in seeking guidance on their vote. It was a clear illustration of why birth control decisions should stay between a woman and her doctor, not politicians."

Posted on April 30, 2015 in News.
 
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