Rep. Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, speaks during a legislative session at the Capitol in January 2017. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire file photo)

Rep. Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, speaks during a legislative session at the Capitol in January 2017. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire file photo)

Anchorage rep pre-files bill on contraceptive access

  • By BRIAN MAZUREK Peninsula Clarion
  • Wednesday, January 9, 2019 4:00pm
  • NewsState News

On Monday, Rep. Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, filed House Bill 21, which aims to provide greater access to reproductive health care and prescription contraceptives for women across the state.

HB 21 requires health-care insurers, including Medicaid services, to provide coverage for prescription contraceptives and medical services necessary for those products or devices, according to a press release issued Monday.

HB 21 aims to give a woman access to the contraceptive method of her choice — including long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) such as intrauterine devices and implants — without barriers related to cost or availability. HB 21 also requires coverage for dispensing up to 12 months of prescriptive contraceptives at a time.

“We’ve heard from women, especially in rural areas, that multiple trips a year to the pharmacy can be an insurmountable barrier in accessing consistent contraception, and that a one-year supply would assist many women in balancing their personal health with work and family life,” Rep. Claman said in the release.

HB 21 also attempts to address the problem of reproductive coercion, a form of domestic or interpersonal violence in which abusers dictate when and how contraceptives can or cannot be accessed as a means of gaining power and control, according to the release.

A review of nine U.S. studies recently published by the British Medical Journal found that between 8 percent and 30 percent of American women seeking family planning or other health care reported some form of reproductive control being held over them. The definition of reproductive coercion can include a number of different behaviors that range from emotional blackmail to throwing out contraceptive pills.

“This deplorable behavior and blatant disregard for women’s health and autonomy is inexcusable. Contraceptive coercion is a public health issue, and it is also a public safety issue. By giving women and families access to affordable and reliable contraception, we can help current and potential victims of abuse,” Rep. Claman said in the press release.

The first session of the Legislature will begin Jan. 15, and a number of bills have already been pre-filed including this one. Bills that are filed before the first day of the legislative session will be introduced and referred to committees before all other legislation.


• By BRIAN MAZUREK, Peninsula Clarion


More in News

Teaser
Then Now: Looking back on pandemic response

Comparing messaging from 1918 to 2021

Damage in a corner on the inside of the middle and high school building of Kachemak Selo School Nov. 12, 2019, in Kachemak Selo, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Repair costs rise as school facilities deteriorate

About $420 million worth of maintenance is needed at Kenai Peninsula Borough School District buildings.

Golden-yellow birch trees and spruce frame a view of Aurora Lagoon and Portlock Glacier from a trail in the Cottonwood-Eastland Unit of Kachemak Bay State Park off East End Road on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong)
State Parks to hold meeting on Eastland Cottonwood unit

Meeting will include update on Tutka Bay Hatchery bill

Renewable IPP CEO Jenn Miller presents information about solar power during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Company looks to build solar farm on peninsula

It would be roughly 20 times the size of the largest solar farm currently in the state.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Soldotna Trooper arrested for multiple charges of child sex abuse

He has been a State Trooper in Soldotna since June 2020.

This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol. An Alaska state lawmaker was cited for driving with an open can of beer in his vehicle that another lawmaker said was actually his. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Lawmaker cited for open beer fellow legislator says was his

Republican Sen. Josh Revak plans to challenge the $220 ticket.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
This 2011 photo shows the Taku and Malaspina ferries at the Auke Bay Terminal.
Costs add up as ferry idled nearly 2 years

Associated Press The cost to the state for docking an Alaska ferry… Continue reading

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

AP Photo / Becky Bohrer
The Alaska Capitol is shown on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. There is interest among lawmakers and Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy in settling a dispute over the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend program, but no consensus on what the program should look like going forward.
Alaskans get annual boost of free money from PFD

Checks of $1,114 are expected to be paid to about 643,000 Alaskans, beginning this week.

Most Read