Letter: IWV Supports The Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act
IWV Supports The Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act
May 8, 2019
Independent Women’s Voice, which fights to enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities, is proud to support The Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act.
While emergency contraception like ‘Plan B’ is available without a prescription, the traditional “Plan A” birth control pill is not. The Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act encourages the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make birth-control pills available over the counter, without
a prescription. Specifically, it would speed up and simplify the application process for any drug manufacturers wishing to change a routine-use contraceptive product from prescription to over the counter by directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to review any supplemental application within six months and to waive any application fees.
Making birth-control pills available over the counter would remove barriers for the millions of women who choose to use this drug to help them avoid pregnancy (and for other health-related reasons). As women,
we should be free to buy birth control for ourselves. Conventional birth control drugs have been around
for decades. They are safe and effective, and women should not be required to visit a doctor and/or get a prescription to get routine birth control. That’s why the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists favor making the pill over the counter, recognizing that women are very good at self-screening and determining which kind to use and how.
Over-the-counter birth control will help low-income and uninsured women most of all by increasing market competition and, consequently, reducing costs. For example, when Claritin went from prescription-only to over the counter, the price of the drug fell 50 percent within a year.
Importantly, this legislation will also give patients the option to purchase over-the-counter medications using health savings accounts (HSAs), which many families already use to set aside funds tax-free to pay for healthcare expenses. The bill also removes contribution limits for HSAs as well as other tax-advantaged savings accounts including flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and medical savings accounts (MSAs).
This bill is a commonsense effort, one that all Americans should applaud. We thank Senators Ernst and Gardner for their leadership on this important issue and urge all Members to vote yes in support of The Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act when it comes to the floor for a vote.
Hadley Heath Manning
Director of Policy
Independent Women’s Voice