Over-the-counter contraceptives, such as condoms, are now free to Washington State residents with health insurance.
The Reproductive Parity Act
Following six years of Republican obstruction, the Reproductive Parity Act was finally passed last year. Starting on 1 January 2019, Washingtonians with state-regulated health insurance (including Medicaid) can pick up over-the-counter contraceptives at their in-network pharmacies for no cost.
According to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner of Washington State, these contraceptives include ‘condoms, spermicides, emergency contraceptives, and sponges.’
Additionally, this new policy also covers sterilizations and vasectomies, as well as free abortions to those whose health plans cover maternity services.
What people are saying
Various Washington-based politicians, advocacy groups, and organizations praised this new law.
Reproductive health care is health care. Pleased that the Reproductive Parity Act went into law this month https://t.co/IQJpQRqgH9
— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) January 10, 2019
Countless women in WA will live healthier lives thanks to the advocates & lawmakers who fought for years to pass the Reproductive Parity Act. #reprorights #familyplanning #waleg #PuttingPeopleFirst https://t.co/ZnOQP0k9zP
— WA Senate Democrats (@WASenDemocrats) January 10, 2019
People benefitting from the new law also expressed their excitement and gratitude on social media.
About to go in for surgery to get my tubes removed – yay permanent birth control and boo – they tried to collect a $50 copay 🙁
I tried to educate them about the ACA preventive benefit and the WA reproductive parity act but the front desk people had no clue – I didn’t pay
— rebeccastob (@rebeccastob) January 9, 2019
The Washington branch of NARAL Pro-Choice took to Twitter to show how Washington’s Reproductive Parity Act is influencing the legislation of other states, such as Connecticut.
L👀ks like Connecticut is working to pass their own version of the Reproductive Parity Act! And there is proposed legislation to ban fake clinics, the first of its kind in the nation. 👏🏿👏🏾👏🏽👏🏼👏🏻 @ProChoiceCT https://t.co/TSkusVBknF
— NARAL Pro-Choice WA (@ProChoiceWA) January 8, 2019