Position Statement – 2016
S.6013A / A.8135B
The Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act
The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York supports The Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (The CCA) proposed by Attorney General Schneiderman and Sponsored by Senator John J. Bonacic (S.6013-A) and Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill (A.8135-B).
The Affordable Care Act (The ACA) strives to make unprecedented improvements to women’s healthcare by addressing access, discriminatory practices, affordability and coverage for essential services. A recent study showed that many states are out of compliance with The ACA provisions on birth control coverage. This legislation would protect as well as strengthen New Yorkers’ access to free contraception under The ACA.
It is widely accepted that birth control is highly effective at reducing unintended pregnancy, which may have negative health consequences for both women and child. The ability to plan and space pregnancies through the use of birth control keeps New York women healthy and in a position to make decisions for their future. The benefits are long-lasting; studies show that children of households where women had access to birth control often have higher family incomes and greater college completion rates.
WBASNY would like to recommend this legislation; we believe it will further strengthen the intent of The ACA and New York’s commitment for making women’s rights a priority. This piece of legislation would enhance the provisions on birth control of the ACA in key ways. First, The CCA would require health insurance policies to include coverage of ALL FDA-approved contraceptives, including both prescribed and over-the-counter emergency contraception. This would allow for a woman and her medical provider to determine which method is appropriate for her and have access to that method without cost. Access to free contraception is essential as it removes a significant financial burden that often deters women from obtaining birth control and remaining consistent with its use. The proposed legislation would also prohibit insurance companies from “medical management” review that can limit or delay access to contraceptive coverage. By way of furthering the intent of The ACA, this bill would require the coverage of male contraceptive methods, including vasectomies, and allow for up to one (1) year supply of birth control at a time.
New York State has a history of working to advance women’s rights and access to healthcare. Given this history, it would be extremely fitting for New York to become a leader in protecting and furthering the coverage of contraception provided for under The ACA. WBASNY strongly encourages the legislature to pass this bill and support the rights of New York families.
WBASNY encourages the legislature to support this legislation.
WBASNY consists of over 3,800 members from eighteen chapters across New York State dedicated not only to promoting the advancement of the status of women in society and of women in the legal profession, but to the fair and equal administration of justice. Our members include individuals from all levels of state and federal benches, as well as prominent attorneys practicing in all areas of the law, educators and government leaders.
 National Women’s Law Center, April 2015; http://www.nwlc.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/stateofcoverage2015final.pdf
 Adam Sonfield et al., Guttmacher Institute, “The Social and Economic Benefits Of Women’s Ability To Determine Whether and When To Have Children,” (2013) available at http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/social-economic-benefits.pdf
 New York Attorney General Eric T. Scheiderman, Press Release 5/11/2015