Center for American Progress

RELEASE: 4 Best Practices To Protect and Expand Access to Contraceptive Care
Press Release

RELEASE: 4 Best Practices To Protect and Expand Access to Contraceptive Care

Washington, D.C. — The overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court exposed an urgent need to protect and expand access to contraceptive care. The Center for American Progress’ four-part series highlights best practices that can help improve and expand access to contraception at the state level. State policymakers have the opportunity to intervene in threats to care and pass legislation that advances contraception access. 

To date, more than 19 million women live in contraceptive deserts or areas with insufficient access to the full range of birth control methods. This four-part series outlines actionable recommendations that state policymakers should take to improve reproductive health care in states across the country. The recommendations include implementing one-year dispensing policies, expanding pharmacists’ prescriptive authority to prescribe contraceptives, expanding family planning and contraceptive coverage through Medicaid, and implementing quality measures and person-centered care. When taken all together, these recommendations can reduce the significant costs involved in reproductive health services and improve the quality of health care services throughout all 50 states.

Each report in this series examines a policy recommendation that has the potential to reduce significant costs involved in reproductive health services; improve the quality of health care services; and, importantly, help people meet their family planning goals and reproductive health needs. A glimpse at these reports’ recommendations include:

  1. “Advancing Contraception Access in States Through One-Year Dispensing and Extended Supply Policies”: Examines how one-year dispensing is a promising avenue to increase contraception access and utilization at the state level. If implemented, this policy change would reduce the number of unnecessary trips that women have to make to a physician, therefore increasing consistency in contraception use, helping women better plan their pregnancies, and increasing financial savings for health programs and state economies.
  2. “Advancing Contraception Access in States Through Expanded Pharmacist Prescribing”: Explores how expanding pharmacists’ prescriptive authority so that they can also prescribe contraceptives will help mitigate barriers to access contraception. 
  3. “Advancing Access to Contraception Through Section 1115 Medicaid Waivers and State Plan Amendments”: Explains how states can pursue Section 1115 Medicaid waivers and state plan amendments to allow more people to have coverage for specified family planning services and visits. 
  4. “Advancing Access to Contraception in the States Through Quality Measures and Person-Centered Contraceptive Counseling”: Argues that person-centered care helps more people receive quality care and education that is aligned with patients’ family planning goals.

“Birth control is essential health care, and there are far too many women who experience extensive systemic barriers and discrimination when trying to access contraceptive care. It’s imperative that our state policymakers take action to diminish barriers to and protect contraception access. These four recommendations taken together will help more women—and people of all genders—get access to the quality care they need and deserve,” said Kierra B. Jones, policy analyst on CAP’s Women’s Initiative team and author of this series.

Read the series here: “Improving Access to Birth Control at the State Level” by Kierra B. Jones

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sarah Nadeau at [email protected].

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