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House OKs 12-month supplies of birth control pills

OLYMPIA -- Women in Washington would be able to refill their birth control prescriptions yearly, rather than monthly, under a bill that sailed through the House Thursday morning.

Supporters said it was a common sense measure that would cut down on unplanned pregnancies by requiring insurance companies to cover a 12-month supply when a birth control prescription is being refilled. "Consistency in taking birth control leads to effectiveness," Rep. Melanie Stambaugh, R-Puyallup, said.

Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, said opponents don''t object to the idea of a 12-month supply but worried about people who would "scam the system" and thought patients should have a medical checkup after three months.

House Bill 2465, which some had dubbed the "Jumbo Pack Bill" passed on a 91-6, with all the women in the House voting yes. Among the no votes were three Spokane-area lawmakers: Republicans Schmick as well as Matt Shea and Bob McCaslin of the Spokane Valley.

The bill goes to the Senate for further consideration.

 




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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.