Omnibus Appropriations Bill Passes that will Increase Affordable Contraceptive Access
The Senate passed the 2009 fiscal year omnibus spending bill yesterday with a provision that will restore contraceptive pricing laws that drastically lower birth control prices on college campuses and community clinics.
Since 2006, prices for birth control have skyrocketed as high as $50/month at clinics and college health centers as a consequence of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. This act included a little-noticed provision that prohibited the decades-old practice of pharmaceutical companies selling contraceptives to college clinics and clinics serving low-income women at deeply discounted rates. The Feminist Majority Foundation's Choices Campus groups have worked to push for reversal of this provision since 2005.
"For tens of thousands of young women being served by college health centers and community clinics, access to reasonably priced birth control will be reinstated," said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority. "This is a major victory for young women and their reproductive health that could not have come at a better time with the ongoing financial crisis."
Earlier this year, Representative Joseph Crowley (D-NY) reintroduced the Prevention Through Affordable Access Act in the House of Representatives to correct the birth control pricing provision.
Media Resources: Interview with Eleanor Smeal 3/11/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/15/09, 1/31/09; Feminist Majority