Alex Gonzalez, Public News Service
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., recently met with reproductive-rights advocates to discuss the need to ensure all Nevada women have access to birth control without a prescription.
In July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first birth control pill which is set to be made available over-the-counter in early 2024. The price for the drug has yet to be released.
Cortez Masto emphasized the need for her re-introduced Affordability is Access Act, which would ensure women have affordable access to over-the-counter birth control without a prescription.
“This is the legislation I have introduced, is to make sure it is affordable,” Cortez Masto stressed. “So to ensure that our insurance companies keep the cost low. Just like on the Affordable Care Act marketplace, we want to ensure that women can access contraception over the counter and it’s affordable for them.”
Cortez Masto pointed out the biggest barrier for many is cost. She added she is proud Nevada has remained a pro-choice state, and realizes many woman are coming to Nevada in search of reproductive health care services as some conservatives at the state and federal level aim to restrict or outlaw access to contraceptive care.
Lindsey Harmon, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes Nevada, said they have seen an increase in the number of people frequenting Planned Parenthood health centers in the Silver State as she observed they are scared or confused about the laws in their respective home states.
Harmon pointed out after the Dobbs decision which ended the constitutional right to abortion, some lawmakers are now targeting contraceptive access, to which she said they are fighting back.
“We are looking to cover a full spectrum of health care,” Harmon emphasized. “Because we know that in this country elected officials, particularly those who are anti-women and anti-choice and anti-trans, are coming and targeting every part of a person’s reproductive health care.”
Advocates said for many across Nevada and the country, contraception is not about family planning but rather a health care issue. In June, Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoed Assembly Bill 383, which would have protected the right to contraceptives for all Nevadans.
This article originally appeared in Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.