More than 100 Democrats in the House and Senate have signed on to a bill that would ensure access to birth control as well as prevent pharmacies from refusing to provide contraceptives.
On Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers in both chambers reintroduced legislation that would protect women’s access to birth control, emergency contraceptives and other medication from pharmacies.
The Access to Birth Control Act, as a press release indicates, would require pharmacies to provide customers access to birth control ”without delay,” or they would have to order more or point customers toward a pharmacy that has the medication in stock.
Pharmacies refusing could face penalties of $1,000 a day with a maximum of up to $100,000 as well as a private cause of action for patients seeking relief.
So far, according to The Hill, the legislation has garnered the support of 121 Democrats: 99 representatives and 22 senators.
The bill was proposed in the Senate by Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., with Reps. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., Robin Kelly, D-Ill., and Katie Porter, D-Calif., reintroducing it in the House.
”During the Trump Administration, some health care providers — including pharmacists — denied patients care simply based on their personal views,” Maloney stated. ”Health care providers must do their jobs based on science — not ideology — and we cannot let this dangerous trend continue.”
According to the National Women’s Law Center, in 24 states and in Washington, D.C., there have been reports of pharmacies refusing to fill contraceptive prescriptions.
Murray said in a statement that ”with reproductive rights under attack from every angle, we’ve got to stand up and make clear that no one should be able to come between a patient and the birth control they need — including being turned away at the pharmacy.”