THREE bills to improve access to family planning services pass the legislature and are sent to the Governor’s desk for signature!
Three bills, supported by the LARC4CO coalition, passed the legislature this week. These initiatives center the needs of different populations in our state but all work together to help maintain Colorado’s position as a leader in ensuring that all Coloradans can plan their families in the way that makes the most sense for them.
These bills also help meet this moment of COVID-19 response. During the pandemic, demand for family planning has grown as women increasingly want to delay having children. Job losses have also threatened access to health insurance coverage, and family financial uncertainty means that more people who can become pregnant – especially those most marginalized and under-resourced – worry about being able to afford and access family planning services. Further, these bills also help to implement one of the key recommendations from state’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee published in their report just last summer. The Committee noted, “The ability to choose if and when to have children and in what ways, is essential to the health and wellbeing of people before, during, and after a pregnancy. Culturally appropriate family planning care should be covered by insurance and include options for preventing pregnancy and options for building a family.”
The three bills that passed this week were:
- SB21-009: Contraception for Undocumented People through Medicaid and Expanded Access to Contraceptive Care, led by our partners at COLOR. This bill would expand Medicaid to provide contraceptives for undocumented communities in Colorado and improve access to a 12-month supply of contraceptives for all who use Medicaid.
- SB21-016: Ensuring Access to All Forms of Contraception without Costs to Patients, led by our partners at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. This bill expands access to all approved forms of contraception without cost sharing.
- SB21-025: Expanded Income Eligibility for Medicaid Family Planning Services, led by the Children’s Campaign. This bill would expand Medicaid coverage for family planning services to people who lack coverage and are just above the Medicaid eligibility income limit. It would bring federal dollars into Colorado through a state option that the majority of other states have already taken up.
You can learn more about all of these efforts and the state of reproductive justice in Colorado on our own West Steps podcast.