Following FDA Approval of Opill Birth Control, Senators Call on Defense Department to Remove Barriers to Accessing Essential Health Care
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) joined a bipartisan group of senators in a letter urging the U.S. Department of Defense to ensure over-the-counter birth control is available for servicemembers and their families on military bases, without a copay or prescription. In July, the Food and Drug Administration approved Opill as the first daily oral contraceptive available without a prescription.
“Access to contraception, as well as education about it, increases readiness and improves quality of life for our servicemembers and their families,” wrote the senators. “We write to urge the Department of Defense (DoD) to expand TRICARE coverage to include OTC contraceptives with no cost-sharing or prescription requirement. We also request the DoD stock OTC contraceptives in military treatment facilities, pharmacies, and exchanges.”
After the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, 40 percent of active duty female servicemembers face limited or no access to reproductive care where they are stationed. This poses serious challenges for the approximately 1.6 million women of reproductive age – including servicemembers, retirees, and their families – who rely on the Military Health System to access essential health care.
The full text of the letter can be found HERE.
Senator Rosen has been a leader in the fight to defend women’s reproductive rights. Earlier this year, she helped introduce the Protecting Service Members and Military Families’ Access to Health Care Act to codify the Pentagon’s policy to ensure servicemembers and their families can access reproductive health care, regardless of the state in which they are stationed. The introduction of that bill came after Senator Rosen urged Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to provide servicemembers and their families travel support and paid leave to access reproductive health care services following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. Senator Rosen also helped introduce the Right to Contraception Act to protect every American’s fundamental right to use birth control.