Colorado governor signs bill allowing women to get 12-month birth control prescriptions

DENVER – Colorado women will now be able to get a year’s supply of birth control all at once after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 1186 Monday.

The bill passed through Colorado’s Legislature with bipartisan support. Its supporters say the new law will be a boon to women since it will mean they’ll have to make fewer trips to the pharmacy and will be less likely to disrupt their prescription cycle.

Hickenlooper also praised the bill as a win for women in rural Colorado who may have to drive a long distance to their nearest pharmacy or to get their prescriptions renewed.

Under previous rules, women were only able to get one- or three-month prescriptions.

The bill’s authors pointed to a 2011 National Institutes of Health study that showed unintended pregnancies fell by one-third in places that allowed 12-month prescriptions.

“Women in rural Colorado will see great benefits from this bill. They will be able to access the birth control they rely on, exactly when they need it. This means more time left in their busy days and less likelihood of unintended pregnancies,” said Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Gunnison.

The Republican co-sponsors of the bill, Rep. Lois Landgraf and Sen. Don Coram, said the bill’s aim of reducing unintended pregnancies was “common sense.”

“Nine out of ten women in this country use birth control at some point in their lives. This bill breaks down a barrier to care that will have an incredible impact on women’s lives,” said Sarah Taylor-Nanista, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado. 

Supporters of the bill wore pink to its signing at the state Capitol Monday.

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