PENNSYLVANIA — Governor Josh Shapiro, along with five other governors from the Reproductive Freedom Alliance, is advocating for full insurance coverage of the first-ever FDA-approved over-the-counter (OTC) daily birth control pill. Their plea is directed at Xavier Becerra, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, and Julie Su, Department of Labor Acting Secretary.
The Alliance, representing 84 million Americans, aims to ensure no one is denied access to crucial reproductive healthcare due to financial constraints.
“When Pennsylvanians chose me as their Governor – they made clear that they support a woman’s freedom to choose,” stated Governor Shapiro. He urged the Biden-Harris administration to use its power to expand access to reproductive healthcare, allowing no woman to be hindered by affordability issues.
Joining Governor Shapiro in signing the letter were North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, New Mexico Governor Michelle Grisham, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. The governors requested the federal Departments of HHS and Labor to update the Health Resources & Services Administration guidelines. They asked for the Affordable Care Act’s preventative health mandate to include no-cost coverage of OTC contraceptives without a prescription.
Additionally, the letter encouraged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to authorize states to utilize a federal match to afford OTC contraception. This move would help increase access for Medicaid recipients in communities currently grappling with provider shortages.
Governor Shapiro joined the Alliance, a non-partisan coalition of 21 governors committed to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom, in February. The Alliance is the largest coalition of its kind and works collectively to reinforce reproductive freedom amidst nationwide attacks on abortion access and other forms of reproductive healthcare.
Governor Shapiro’s commitment to safeguarding a woman’s right to choose was further underscored by the launch of a reproductive healthcare resources website in April. The platform aids Pennsylvanians seeking information about medication abortions and in-clinic procedure abortions, providing access to a local provider locator tool, a “Make A Plan” section, and financial support information.
As Attorney General, Governor Shapiro defended the right to access birth control and reproductive healthcare under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act before the U.S. Supreme Court. He argued that Pennsylvania women and families should not be denied full and equal insurance coverage for basic, medically-necessary contraception.
The letter from the Governors can be viewed here.