Press Release: Advocates for Youth Statement on the Introduction of the Affordability is Access Act

Yesterday, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Affordability is Access Act (S. 1532) a piece of legislation that would require insurance coverage without cost sharing for oral birth control [once it is] approved for over the counter use by the FDA. The bill remedies the problems that would be created by [passage of] the recently introduced Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act (S. 1438): [Murray’s bill] does not include harmful arbitrary age or ID requirements that deny access to young people, requires insurance coverage for over the counter contraceptives rather than requiring people to pay out of pocket, and does not interfere in the FDA approval process.


The Affordability is Access Act is an important step in ensuring that all young people have access to the basic services they need to build healthy lives. Even after the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurance plans cover preventive services, including contraception, without cost sharing, young people are disproportionately affected by the high cost of contraception: in a 2014 survey, Advocates for Youth and our partners found that almost 1/3 of young women had put off seeking preventive services in the past year due to cost. (For more information about this survey, please contact rachel@advocatesforyouth.org.) Advocates for Youth applauds the introduction of the Affordability is Access Act, which would help bring contraceptives within many young people’s reach. We also look forward to the introduction of legislation that would require insurance coverage for over the counter emergency contraception, and that would close legal loopholes that allow some entities to opt-out of providing their employees and students with insurance coverage for birth control, to ensure that all young people can have meaningful access to the basic health care services they need.


Advocates for Youth is a national non-profit that champions programs and advocates for policies that help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health. Advocates’ Youth Activist Network stands 75,000 strong on 1,000 campuses and in tens of thousands of communities.

For Immediate Release  June 10, 2015

Rachel Cooke