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Military to Finally Improve Birth Control Access for Female Soldiers

Illustration for article titled Military to Finally Improve Birth Control Access for Female Soldiers

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.

Image via Shutterstock.

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The military and the VA lag so far behind in their service to women it’s shameful.

As a Marine, I had to jump through hoops to get what I needed and honestly, because there were so few WMs, I didn’t get upset about it. But as a veteran, when I STILL have to go up to the Outpatient Pharmacy every fucking 3 months to get my refill?! When I had an ectopic pregnancy and went to the VA medical center and they made me wait in pain for 3 hours as I was bleeding out while they treated geriatric patients first. Then, when they discovered I was miscarrying, the attending doctor said to ME, a black woman, “I don’t know nothin’ about birthing no babies” before I got transferred to a hospital in the community to do the surgery. Bullshit. I’m a fucking veteran, too. We have needs, too. It’s bullshit.