Governor Shapiro Leads Letter from Governors Urging the Biden-Harris Administration to Ensure Over-the-Counter Contraception is Fully Covered by Insurance, Expanding Access to Reproductive Healthcare
December 04, 2023
The letter, co-signed by six Governors who are members of the multi-state Reproductive Freedom Alliance, urges the Biden-Harris Administration to ensure that over-the-counter birth control is covered by health insurance.
Governor Shapiro continues to advance real freedom in Pennsylvania, working to protect and expand access to reproductive healthcare access.
Harrisburg, PA – Today, led by Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, six Governors from the multi-state Reproductive Freedom Alliance (Alliance) representing 84 million Americans sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and notified Department of Labor Acting Secretary Julie Su urging the Biden-Harris Administration to take all necessary and available steps to ensure that the first ever FDA approved over-the-counter (OTC) daily birth control pill is fully covered by insurance, so that no one is denied access to critical reproductive healthcare because they can’t afford it.
“When Pennsylvanians chose me as their Governor – they made clear that they support a woman’s freedom to choose. Since taking office, I’ve unequivocally supported that freedom and the right to access a full scope of reproductive health care, including over-the-counter birth control,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “The Biden-Harris Administration continues to defend that freedom at the federal level and we’re respectfully asking them to do everything in their power to expand access to reproductive health care so that no woman is prevented from accessing the care they need just because they can’t afford it.”
In the letter – which was co-signed by Governor Shapiro, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, New Mexico Governor Michelle Grisham, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker – the Governors asked the federal Departments of HHS and Labor to update the Health Resources & Services Administration guidelines to clarify that the Affordable Care Act’s preventative health mandate include no-cost coverage of OTC contraceptives without a prescription. The letter also urges the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to enable states to leverage a federal match to pay for OTC contraception, which will help expand access for Medicaid recipients in communities currently struggling with provider shortages.
In February, Governor Shapiro joined the Alliance, a non-partisan coalition of 21 Governors committed to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom in their states –the largest such coalition ever convened. The Alliance works together to strengthen reproductive freedom in the face of an unprecedented assault across the country on abortion access and other forms of reproductive health care by states hostile to abortion rights and judges who are advancing their ideological agenda.
Today’s letter is the latest step by Governor Shapiro in making certain that a woman’s right to choose is protected. In April, Governor Shapiro launched a website for reproductive health care resources to help Pennsylvanians find information about both medication abortions and in-clinic procedure abortions, as well as take advantage of an interactive map and the “Find A Provider” tool to locate a local provider, seek assistance on their journey with help from the “Make A Plan” section, and get connected with financial support under “How to Pay.”
As Attorney General, Governor Shapiro defended the right to access birth control and reproductive healthcare under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act before the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that Pennsylvania women and families should not be denied full and equal insurance coverage for basic, medically-necessary contraception.
The letter from the Governors can be viewed here.