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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

U.S. Rep. Lawrence Votes to Expand Access to Basic Reproductive Health Care for Women Veterans

June 24, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Representative Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14) voted to pass the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act, which expands access to basic reproductive health care for women veterans. This bill eliminates burdensome co-pays for contraceptive services for women veterans in the VA health system, making it easier and more affordable to get the basic care they need. Rep. Lawrence is a cosponsor of the bill. 

“Our women veterans, who have selflessly served our country, are being denied fair access to basic reproductive health care. This is completely unacceptable,” said Rep. Lawrence. “Today, the House is righting this wrong with the passage of the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act. This much-needed legislation improves VA health coverage for women veterans by eliminating costly co-pays for contraception. Our women veterans have always had our backs, and it’s time that we have theirs.”

Women veterans are the fastest growing group of veterans enrolling in the VA health care system, yet there are still two million women veterans in the United States who do not have equal access to no-cost contraceptive care. 

The Affordable Care Act guarantees women enrolled in civilian health insurance plans access to contraceptive services without a co-pay, while active duty servicemembers can access contraception without co-pays through TRICARE.  However, the VA still requires co-pays for contraception, denying veterans fair access to these essential services.

This coverage gap unfairly disadvantages female veterans, who now make up the fastest growing group enrolling in VA health care.  This legislation ensures they receive the same access to contraceptive care as civilian women covered under the ACA and active duty women in the armed forces.