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Landmark Maryland Law Expands Birth Control Access

This week Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed into law legislation providing the most comprehensive insurance coverage for contraception in the country. The new law eliminates most copayments for birth control (including vasectomies). ThinkProgress’s Alex Zielinski reports:

Unlike insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, which already covers co-pay costs for prescription birth control, the Maryland law also requires state health insurance plans to cover vasectomies, the morning-after pill, and non-generic birth control drugs that may offer less side effects. It’s the first law in the country to demand this kind of expansive coverage from insurers.

At a moment when advocates across the country are on the defensive, fighting tooth and nail to keep conservative lawmakers from gutting existing protections and marching us all back into the dark ages, it’s a breath of fresh air to see legislators actually doing their jobs and making people’s lives easier. As Delegate Ariana Kelly, one of the Maryland bill’s sponsors, wrote in an email to Feministing.com:

With women’s reproductive rights facing absurd attacks across the country, we in Maryland wanted to do something positive. We have a responsibility to move forward- not back- on women’s health. This law does that[...] I hope women in politics across the country will continue to challenge the status quo and push forward bold initiatives like this one. My political mentor always tells me, ‘power is not something that is given. It is something you take.

And take it they did.

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New Haven, CT

Dana Bolger is a Senior Editor at Feministing and the co-founder of Know Your IX, the national youth-led organization working to end gender violence in schools. She's testified before Congress on Title IX policy and legislative reform, and her writing has appeared in a number of outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She's also a student at Yale Law School, and you can find her on Twitter at @danabolger.

Dana Bolger is a Senior Editor at Feministing and a student at Yale Law School.

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