Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (IA-01) today offered her legislation, the Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act, on the House Floor. This legislation would allow for adult women to access over-the-counter birth control pills that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and effective. House Democrats blocked consideration of Hinson’s bill.
“I rise today to present a reasonable solution to a challenge that millions of American women face – access to birth control. 70% of women aged 18 to 64 reported using oral contraceptives throughout their lifetime.
“A majority of women also support making birth control available over the counter without a prescription. That is why I will be offering a motion to recommit this bill in a few moments – to stand for those women. Women should be able to access their preferred birth control method conveniently.
“Unfortunately, that is not the reality for many women. In rural Iowa, some women have to drive an hour or more to see a gynecologist. That means taking the day off work, finding additional child care, spending hours in a car, and paying expensive gas prices to get there.
“This is unreasonable when we have safe, effective birth control options that have been FDA-approved, that still aren’t available over-the-counter. My amendment would require the FDA to give priority review for over-the-counter access to routine-use oral contraceptives that the agency has already deemed safe for women aged 18 and up.
“I want to emphasize this is for regular birth control pills – not emergency contraceptives like Plan B. Making birth control available over the counter would have a significant impact on women’s lives. My colleagues across the aisle give you a whole lot of lip service about supporting women. They claim that their policies, no matter how far outside the main stream, are the only way to support women.
“That’s just not true. M. Speaker, I’m proposing a solution that the overwhelming majority of women agree with – making their regular birth control pill available at their local pharmacy. We have an opportunity here to work together to enact meaningful legislation that will benefit women.
“Instead, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have offered a bill that I simply cannot a support – their bill attacks conscience protections for providers, expands access to abortion pills, and risks women’s health. But I am not willing to vote no and just give up. I’m offering a solution we should all be able to get behind. We should work together to make oral contraceptives more accessible.
“Vote yes on the motion to recommit, adopt my amendment, and give women an over-the-counter option for birth control. I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of my amendment in the Record immediately prior to the vote on the Motion to Recommit.”