The Progressive


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For Immediate Release
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NARAL Pro-Choice America Endorses Bill to Protect Women's Access to Birth Control

Fifty years after FDA first approved birth-control pill, American women still face barriers to contraception


Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, praised Rep.
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) for
re-introducing the Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act, a bill to ensure
that women receive their birth control at the pharmacy counter.

The bill's re-introduction in both chambers comes as Americans mark
the 50th anniversary of the Food and Drug Administration's approval of
the birth-control pill. The introduction and anniversary unfortunately
coincide with an ongoing campaign by anti-choice groups and their
allies to curb women's access to contraception.

"Five decades after the FDA first approved the birth-control pill,
it is unbelievable that American women still face obstacles to
accessing this basic medication at the pharmacy counter," Keenan said.
"Thankfully, we have strong leaders like Rep. Maloney and Sen.
Lautenberg who believe in guaranteeing women's access to contraception.
We are proud to work with them to advance this bill and other policies
that will improve the lives of women and their families."

Keenan said the federal action is especially necessary as women's
access to contraception often depends on the state in which they live.
Currently, only seven states have enacted laws that require pharmacies
to fill women's birth-control prescriptions. Recently, there has been a
rise in the number of states where anti-choice politicians are
introducing refusal bills, including a one in Arizona that would allow
hospitals, pharmacies, and individuals to reuse to provide birth
control. The Arizona law is the subject of a pending legal challenge.

"The concept is simple: Women should be able to walk into a pharmacy
and leave with the medication they need," Keenan said. "It is mind
boggling that the same people who attack legal abortion also want to
block women's access to contraception, which is one of the best ways to
prevent unintended pregnancy and thus reduce the need for abortion."

NARAL Pro-Choice America also compiled a list of stories of women who have been denied access to birth control at the pharmacy counter.

NARAL Pro-Choice America fights for reproductive freedom for every body. Each day, we organize and mobilize to protect that freedom by fighting for access to abortion care, birth control, aid parental leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination.

(202) 973-3000