The House of Representatives voted on July 16 to require health care plans of federal employees to offer coverage for prescription contraceptives if they offer coverage for other prescription drugs. All five methods of prescription contraceptives would be covered: the Pill, diaphragm, IUD, Norplant, and Depo-Provera. A few health care plans sponsored by the Catholic Church are exempted.
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), who sponsored the bill, said that currently only 19% of federal health plans cover all prescription contraceptives. “This is the biggest victory for reproductive rights since the Republicans took over the House,” Lowey said.
The bill passed 224-198. Anti-abortion members of Congress opposed the bill because they said some contraceptives could be used for abortion. The bill must still be passed by the Senate before it goes to President Clinton for a signature.