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Senate Democrats Propose Bill To Ensure Women Cannot Be Refused Access to Contraceptives at Pharmacies

Senate Democrats Propose Bill To Ensure Women Cannot Be Refused Access to Contraceptives at Pharmacies

July 22, 2014 — The Access to Birth Control Act (S 2625) -- a new measure from Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) backed by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) -- aims to ensure women's access to birth control by requiring pharmacies to help women fill prescriptions for contraception, The Hill reports (Viebeck, The Hill, 7/21).

Specifically, the measure would ensure that women with valid prescriptions for birth control are not intimidated or denied when requesting emergency contraception or other forms of birth control at a pharmacy.

Nineteen other Democratic senators are co-sponsors of the legislation. According to Murray's office, the measure has been introduced on five previous occasions by the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) (Longview Daily News, 7/21).

According to The Hill, the measure has support from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Planned Parenthood Action Fund (The Hill, 7/21).

Murray said in a statement, "It's disappointing that in 2014 this legislation is even necessary, but as the tide of politically-driven, extreme efforts to block a woman's access to reproductive health services continues to rise, we are going to stand with women and help protect this access" (Longview Daily News, 7/21).

Bill Prospects

According to The Hill, the new measure is unlikely to pass Congress, but it comes amid Democratic efforts to use women's health issues against Republican opponents during the midterm elections. The measure follows a failed attempt by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Murray to pass legislation that would have blocked the Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case from taking effect, The Hill reports.

It is also unclear when the Democratic leadership plans to move on the measure, according to The Hill (The Hill, 7/21).