On July 17, 2014, Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced The Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act. This act will assist in preventing pharmacies from withholding birth control or emergency contraception from women.

Organizations like This Is Personal and Planned Parenthood are exercising their voice to demonstrate the relationship between birth control (contraception) and health care. Additionally, allies in Congress are working to further protect women’s health and reproductive rights.

Photo Credit: Senator Cory Booker
Photo Credit: Senator Cory Booker

The Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act ensures women’s timely access to basic, preventative health care and ensures that women will not be denied birth control or emergency contraception by their pharmacist. The ABC Act also requires pharmacies to help a woman obtain medication by her preferred method if the requested product is not in stock and protects women from being intimidated when requesting contraception.

Women’s rights to health care through the use of contraceptives was dealt a great blow through the Hobby Lobby ruling. To counter the ruling, on July 15, 2014, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Women’s Health Protection Act. “This legislation will undo the numerous and dangerous restrictions passed in the states” (This Is Personal, July 2014). The two acts will greatly benefit women in the fight to protect women’s health and reproductive rights.

In addition to the acts being a benefit to women, Population Act International has demonstrated how access to birth control and emergency contraception is beneficial to the global economy. It is expressed as #Womenomics, which relates family planning to savings in areas like education, immunization, and water and sanitation.

Photo Credit: Population Action International
Photo Credit: Population Action International

This infographic [‘Economics of Birth Control’ Infographic’], created by Population Action International, shows just how much a lack of access to contraception impacts not just women and their children, but the amount countries spend on basic services for entire populations. Yet, sadly, only 22 percent of family-planning needs are being met worldwide.

A petition has been started on Change.org by Sarah Robin. She provides additional information and a possible solution. The petition has closed, but it does explain what The ABC Act will do if it passes.

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