A new bill — Birth Control Access Act — lets women get a full year's worth of birth control pills with one pharmacy visit.
This is such a relieving concept that when I first read about it, I actually exclaimed, out loud, "Oh, cool!"
It's seriously such an amazing law, and I am so happy about it.
There's just one issue about it: It's in Virginia.
But if you're in Virginia that's super cool!
Seriously, this birth control law is extremely beneficial.
For me, it was already a major life improvement when I started getting three months' worth of pills at a time as opposed to just one month — and I'm a mobile adult in New York City where Duane Reade is literally a block away!
Getting to a pharmacy can be difficult for a variety of factors, including transportation and open hours.This is especially true if, say, you're a mother or a teenager or in an abusive relationship or whatever else it might be.
So people might be delayed in picking up their pill packs.
That's really bad because you have to take birth control at the same time every day for it to work. That rule is extra, extra vital at the beginning of the month.
Being a day or two late to start a new pack could mess up the effectiveness of birth control pills, if you didn't already know.
You can stay on birth control pills for years, so really all the old rules did was make you have to check a refill and pick it up every one to three months over and over again.
In Virginia, as long as you have a prescription, you can get a full year with one pharmacy visit.
Studies have shown this makes the pill better used overall.
When women get a full year of pills, unintended pregnancy is reduced by 30 percent and abortion is reduced by 46 percent, according to Progress Virginia.
Meanwhile, the cost of birth control to an insurer is $160 to $600 for a year.
The cost of birth? $18,000 to $28,000.
So yeah, this law makes a difference.
The bill was passed in the state House and Senate and is now going to the governor's office to be signed.
It's supported by both parties in a bipartisan effort.
Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam said,
As a doctor, I know that having prescription options is important for the best patient care. Moving forward, I would urge members of the General Assembly to support measures to promote access to the full-range of reproductive health care services for all Virginia women.
We hope to see more of this!