contraceptive access
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In anticipation of and in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overrule Roe v. Wade in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization opinion, many states took immediate action to enshrine residents’ right to privacy in different ways, including measures to protect residents’ freedom to acquire and use contraceptives.


California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB523 into law on September 27, 2022. The bill, the Contraceptive Equity Act of 2022, protects California residents’ freedom to use contraception. The Act makes contraceptive coverage without cost-sharing gender-inclusive, requires coverage of over-the-counter birth control options and vasectomy services without cost-sharing, and expands contraceptive coverage benefits to millions of Californians. It also prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on their contraceptive health decisions.


Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed HB1279, the Reproductive Health Equity Act, into law on April 4, 2022. The bill was introduced into the state’s Senate and referred to the Health & Insurance Committee on March 3, 2022. The bill was approved and signed by the Speaker of the House on March 28 and the President of the Senate on March 29. The bill enshrines the freedom of every individual to obtain and use contraception at their will. Neither state nor local public entities may deny a resident such freedoms or interfere in a resident’s access to contraceptives in any way, directly or indirectly.


The Maine Legislature passed LD1954 on April 11, 2022. The legislation was first introduced in the Senate on February 1, 2022, and immediately referred to the Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance, and Financial Services. On April 7, 2022, the House passed the bill to the Senate to be enacted, and the Senate followed suit just days later, on April 11, with 30 yeas. This bill did not require the approval of the governor. The law requires Maine’s health insurance policies to cover all contraceptive drugs, devices, and products for its residents without a copayment. The law also requires that all individual and group nonprofit medical services and health plan policies provide coverage for dispensing prescribed contraceptive drugs, devices, and products.

South Carolina

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed S0628 into law on June 1, 2022. This legislation was introduced in the Senate on March 2, 2021, and referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs. After some back and forth between the Senate and House, both state chambers approved on May 12, 2022. Governor McMaster signed the bill on May 23, which went into effect shortly after. S0628 enacts what is called the Pharmacy Access Act. This act permits pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives, allowing residents of South Carolina to access the drugs rather more easily than visiting a healthcare provider to be granted a prescription.