(WAOW) — Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) along with Rep. Ron Tusler (R-Harrison), Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee), and Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) introduced the 12-Month Contraceptive Care Act on Wednesday.
The legislation will allow women to fill their birth control prescriptions for up to 12 months at a time after receiving an initial three-month supply. Wisconsin health insurance plans currently only cover prescriptions of birth control for 30 or 90 days.
The most common causes of unwanted pregnancies are lack of access to reliable contraception and inconsistent use. Research has shown that dispensing a 12-month supply of birth control at one time reduces the odds of unintended pregnancy by 30% and reduces abortion rates by 46%. It may also lower costs for health insurers by reducing the number of pregnancy tests and pregnancies.
“At some point in their lifetime, almost all women will depend on birth control for their health or family planning,” said Rep. Shankland. “But consistency is key when it comes to effectiveness, and requiring women to return to their pharmacy every month or every few months is an unnecessary barrier for so many, especially for women who work multiple jobs, lack reliable access to transportation, live in rural areas, serve in the military, or are survivors of intimate partner violence.”
“At least 18 states have enacted similar legislation, and it’s time for Wisconsin to do the same. There is no medical reason why a woman should only receive a monthly supply of birth control,” continued Rep. Shankland. “I’m proud to introduce the bipartisan 12-Month Contraceptive Care Act, which would strengthen women’s health and provide women with the security and certainty that comes with consistent and effective birth control use.”