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Prescription fairness

Posted: Monday, April 02, 2001

We are writing to alert the community to an important proposal in the Alaska Legislature. SB 15, the Prescription Fairness Act, would require health insurance plans that cover prescription preventive drugs to cover prescription contraceptives.

The double-standard that exists in women's health care has become increasingly blatant in recent years, as insurance companies add Viagra to their list of allowable drugs but refuse to cover contraception. Studies have shown that women pay far more than men do in out-of-pocket health care costs. Much of this disparity is attributable to birth control costs.

It is not surprising that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently ruled that prescription insurance plans that cover prevention drugs, but exclude contraception, are discriminatory.

The Juneau Pro-Choice Coalition believes that all women should have access to safe, legal, affordable reproductive health services. We are committed to helping prevent unintended pregnancy, one of the leading reasons women seek abortions. Pro-life legislators should "walk the talk" and instead of spending time and energy on legislation to increase barriers for women seeking abortions, they should actively support prescription fairness, to help reduce abortions.

Despite the overwhelming logic of the measure, SB 15 has not even been scheduled for a hearing in the Legislature. Please contact Sen. Gene Therriault (465-4797), chair of the Senate State Affairs Committee, and tell him this bill deserves to be heard.

Please support this effort to bring fairness to health insurance and to help ensure that every child is a wanted child. For more information, see our Web site at juneauchoice.com.

Shannon O'Fallon

Chair, Juneau Pro-Choice Coalition

Juneau



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