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Birth Control on the Ballot

This World Contraception Day we look at the many ways elections can impact access.

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Written by Nurx
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Today is World Contraception Day, an annual reminder that birth control is far more than a medication — it gives women the power to write their own stories and live life on their terms. When you can reliably control whether and when you’ll have children you have more agency over your career, relationships, finances and the ability to realize your dreams.

But in 2022, World Contraception Day feels more important than ever — with the reversal of Roe v Wade, access to birth control is more vital than ever. And with an election less than two months away (November 8th!), let this be a reminder to anybody who can get pregnant (and those who care about them) that their ability to decide their futures remains very much under the control of the people we elect and the judges they appoint. The choice to vote and the candidates you choose can determine which choices are available to women. 

What’s at Stake

Here’s just a shortlist of birth control access issues that are decided, directly or indirectly, by ballots cast:

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Birth control from Nurx costs as little as $0 with insurance or $15 per month without insurance.

If emergency contraception will remain legal

9 states have laws or policies restricting access to emergency contraception, from preventing government funding or eliminating insurance coverage requirements for EC to specifically allowing pharmacists to decline to fill emergency contraception prescriptions or pharmacies to refuse to dispense it. Some political leaders who wrongly consider emergency contraception a type of abortion pill have expressed that they would like to outlaw it entirely.

Whether a pharmacist can refuse your prescription

12 states allow some healthcare providers to refuse to prescribe birth control, or allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense a birth control prescription if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. These laws are particularly harmful to people In pharmacy deserts, a term for both rural and urban areas with a shortage of pharmacies, who may find that the religious views of the particular pharmacist or pharmacy owner in their area prevent them from accessing this vital medication, making it that much harder to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

If your insurance plan must cover birth control

20 states and DC give some employers and insurance plans the option to decline to cover the cost of birth control if it conflicts with their beliefs.

The size of your birth control supply 

This year, both Maine and New Jersey signed laws requiring health plans to pay for a 12-month supply of birth control at a time, so you can stock up and forget about it for an entire year. Wouldn’t you like your state to do the same?

If teens can access birth control

Only 23 states and the District of Columbia allow minors to access contraception without meeting specific requirements. But in other states teens must be married, getting permission from a parent or clergy, or meet some other qualification before being able to access birth control. 

Whether assault victims can quickly get emergency contraception

Only 15 states and the District of Columbia require emergency rooms to give emergency contraception to sexual assault victims, and three states allow pharmacies to refuse to dispense EC altogether

Source: Guttmacher Institute

Don’t Throw Away Your Vote

So it’s clear that the people holding office at both the state and federal levels have huge power over your access to contraception — and your chance to choose those people is just a few weeks away. Make sure your voice is heard when it comes to contraception and so much more! Here’s how:

  1. Make sure you’re registered to vote. Visit Vote.gov to check your registration. Deadlines for registering, and details on how and where to vote, vary by state. Vote.org has a state-by-state directory of voting procedures and deadlines and Google puts this info at your fingertips (Just search “How to vote” followed by your state’s name).
  2. Learn about the issues. Want to understand more about the people and issues you’ll see on the ballot?  The nonpartisan League of Women Voters will publish a voter guide based on your address.
  3. Recruit your friends. Make sure everyone in your circle is registered and ready to vote, and spread the word in your community with help from When We All Vote.

This World Contraception Day let’s remember that pills, shots, patches and other small things make a big difference in women’s health, wealth and futures, and fight to protect birth control access at the ballot box. 

 

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Learn about getting birth control through Nurx.

This blog pro­vides infor­ma­tion about telemed­i­cine, health and related sub­jects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be con­strued as a substitute for, med­ical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or per­son with a med­ical con­cern should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of Nurx™.

 

 

 

 

 

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