29 Jan Rep. Ray Ward’s proposed legislation to cover the cost of birth control for women earning less than $12,000 a year.
The NCJW supports affordable, accessible contraception. That’s why we oppose President Trump’s end to the rule requiring employer-sponsored health insurance policies to cover birth control without co-pays or additional costs. In contrast, we support Utah Republican Rep. Ray Ward’s proposed legislation to increase access to safe, effective birth control for low-income women. Rep. Ward, as a family physician, knows the issue. As two student women’s health care nurse practitioners, Rebekah Birdsall and Hannah Murphy, at the U of U state: “It is essential health care… Reliable contraception affords a woman and her partner the choice to decide if and when to assume the responsibilities of parenthood.” And affordable contraception gives women a better shot at achieving life goals. In this #metoo moment, women need to be heard, not just about sexual harassment but about family planning.
Rep. Ward’s proposal would offer contraception coverage to women ineligible for Medicaid and earning up to 95% of the federal poverty level, which is just under $12,000 for a single woman. Such access would lead to fewer unplanned pregnancies, fewer abortions and better economic outcomes for such women and therefore for society as a whole. If the bill were to pass, the 3 year pilot program would enable Utah to join 28 other states offering such family planning services. As an added benefit, the programs save $7 for every $1 invested in family planning services!
So, NCJWers, please contact Rep. Ward and find out how you can help him get this out of committee and to a floor vote.
Offer your support and thanks. Contact your legislator and urge his/her support of the legislation.