by Alissa Smith
DENVER, CO—Women in Colorado will now be able to fill birth control prescriptions for a one-year supply, after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed HB 17-1186 into law today, amidst dozens of supporters dressed in pink at the Colorado State Capitol.
“This law is a great example of how we can work across the aisle to bring meaningful changes to people’s lives,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper. “This is an important step in supporting women across Colorado, especially those in rural areas.”
“This is a big celebration for a big change in women’s lives. It means fewer trips to the pharmacy, fewer unintended pregnancies and healthier outcomes for Colorado women. This legislation will empower women and their families across Colorado,” said Vicki Cowart, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
A 2011 study by the National Institutes of Health indicates that access to a 12-month supply of hormonal birth control can reduce unintended pregnancies by one-third. Until now, insurers have only allowed women to receive one- to three-month supplies of contraception at a time.
The bill (HB 17-1186) was sponsored by Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood), Senator Kerry Donovan (D-Gunnison), Rep. Lois Landgraf (R-Fountain) and Sen. Don Coram (R-Montrose) and had bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.
“This is a great new law, a simple change that comes with big results. At a time when women’s rights are at risk nationally and in other states, Colorado has shown it is moving forward, not backward,” said Rep. Pettersen.
“Women in rural Colorado will see great benefits from this bill. They will be able to access the birth control they rely on, exactly when they need it. This means more time left in their busy days and less likelihood of unintended pregnancies,” said Sen. Donovan.
Rep. Landgraf and Sen. Coram cited common sense reasoning and a goal of reducing unintended pregnancies in their support of this bill.
“Nine out of ten women in this country use birth control at some point in their lives. This bill breaks down a barrier to care that will have an incredible impact on women’s lives,” said Sarah Taylor-Nanista, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado.