WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), senior member of House Armed Services Committee, today voted in support of H.R. 239, the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act — which Rep. Langevin helped pass 11 years ago – all women who have civilian health insurance can receive basic contraceptive services without a co-pay. However, veterans using VA health care are denied this opportunity. The Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act will correct this imbalance and eliminate co-pays for veterans accessing contraceptive services. The legislation passed the House 245-181.
“I fought hard to pass the Affordable Care Act, and I’ve strongly supported efforts to make contraceptive services more accessible and affordable,” said Rep. Jim Langevin. “Women veterans deserve to have the same access to contraceptive services as civilian women, which is why I was proud to vote for the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act today.”
There are 2 million female veterans, and women now make up nearly 20% of serving military personnel and 10% of the veteran population. Women veterans also make up the fastest growing group of veterans enrolling in VA health care.
The Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act is endorsed by the American Academy of Nursing, American College of Nurse-Midwives, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Catholics for Choice, Center for Reproductive Rights, Endocrine Society, Guttmacher Institute, Ibis Reproductive Health, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, Ipas, Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health, Medical Students for Choice, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Minority Veterans of America (MVA), Modern Military Association of America (MMAA), NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, National Birth Equity Collaborative, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Council of Jewish Women, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, National Health Law Program, National Organization for Women, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women’s Health Network, National Women’s Law Center, Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), People For the American Way, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Population Connection Action Fund, Power to Decide, Protect Our Defenders, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Reproductive Health Access Project, Service Women’s Action Network, Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, The American Legion, Union for Reform Judaism, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Women of Reform Judaism, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)