Turner Legislation to Expand Access to Emergency Contraceptives Advances

Trenton – In an effort to expand access to all forms of birth control, the Senate Health Committee today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley Turner which would require Medicaid to cover emergency contraceptives without requiring a prescription or other authorization for the product. 
“While they are not intended to be used as a regular form of birth control, emergency contraceptives are a valuable tool in preventing unintended pregnancies,” said Senator Turner (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “As we work to expand access to all family planning methods, this legislation will remove barriers to ensure all New Jerseyans can access emergency contraceptives in a timely manner if they need them.”
New Jersey’s Medicaid program currently provides coverage for emergency contraceptives if they are obtained with a prescription. Individuals can obtain some forms of emergency contraceptives without a prescription, but the individual must pay for these out-of-pocket, which can cost as much as $40 to $50 per use.
The bill, S-1220, would take effect immediately, notwithstanding any federal approval.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-2.