Congress is aiming to offer better birth control access to women in the military: The annual defense policy bill passed on Friday stipulated that armed forces clinics and hospitals must have a number of contraception methods on hand.
According to the New York Times, women soldiers say they can’t find drugs prescribed by their doctors, especially when they are stationed overseas. This bill states that they should not only have access to it, but they also have a “sufficient supply” that will cover their entire tour.
California Representative Jackie Speier cited a recent study that found women in the military as having a higher unplanned pregnancy rate as part of her motivations to back the bill.
“Servicewomen deserve access to the same array of contraceptive methods available to civilians,” Ms. Speier said. “My amendment would ensure that military bases stock a broad range of contraceptive options, so a trip to the pharmacy isn’t a game of chance.”
Donna J. Barry, co-author of the recent report by the Center for American Progress, says that the number of women in the military has increased but the reproductive and sexual health care the armed forces have to offer “has not kept up.”
Can you believe this is just becoming a priority in 2015? If only men had periods, ovaries, and vaginas.
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