Tester bill guarantees women’s access to birth control, cancer screenings

U.S. Senator Jon Tester is asking members of Congress to protect a woman’s right to health care by supporting a bill that would require insurance companies to cover certain services, including birth control and breast cancer screenings.

The move comes as the Trump administration ends an Obama-era mandate that required employers to include birth control coverage in insurance plans.

“This decision will make it more expensive for families to plan for the future and stay healthy,” Tester said. “Washington politicians need to get their noses out of Montanans’ personal lives and stop meddling in our private lives.”

According to Planned Parenthood, the changes implemented by the Trump administration could impact 62 million women who had access to birth control free of charge thanks to provision in the Affordable Care Act.

Tester is sponsoring the Save Women’s Preventive Care Act, which would guarantee that insurance companies cover women’s health services, including birth control, breast cancer screenings, and annual exams without charging a copay or deductible.

“Nearly nine in 10 women of reproductive age will use contraception for family planning or other medical reasons,” Tester said. “The U.S. is at the lowest rate of unintended pregnancy in 30 years, and a historic low of pregnancy among teens because of expanded access to birth control and sex education.”

Tester said there are 188,000 women of reproductive age in Montana.