Armstrong Bill to Ensure Contraception Access Advances to House Floor

Bill Guarantees New Mexicans Coverage for Full Range of Birth Control Options

Rep. Debbie Armstrong’s bill to codify protections of the Affordable Care Act to guarantee coverage of contraception by New Mexico health insurance plans, HB 89, is on its way to a floor vote by the full House of Representatives after it passed the House Health and Human Services Committee, 5-3, on Monday.

“In New Mexico, we value family,” Armstrong said, “and we trust families to make decisions about how and when they want to grow. Access to contraception through health insurance coverage allows New Mexicans to make the decisions that are right for them.”

Specifically HB 89 guarantees that insurance plans cover a full range of contraception—at no cost to consumers. This range of options includes birth control pills, IUD and vasectomy. The legislation also calls on insurers to treat birth control options specific to women and those specific to men equally.

“This isn’t a ‘women’s issue,” Armstrong said. “It’s a ‘families’ issue.’ Men and women need equal access to contraception.”

Armstrong’s bill also would ensure that no matter what changes are made at a federal level, contraception will remain accessible to all New Mexicans.

“Health care access is under attack at the federal level,” Armstrong said. “We must act now to ensure that New Mexicans can continue to access affordable, quality healthcare—including contraception.”

HB 89 now goes to the House floor for a vote.

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About Rep. Armstrong: Debbie, Chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee, is a long-time health care advocate serving her second term in the New Mexico House of Representatives. Having started her career as a physical therapist, she has worked extensively as a health care administrator, working 10 years with Presbyterian Medical Services in Santa Fe. Prior to serving as Secretary of New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Terms Services Department, she oversaw the department’s Consumer and Elder Rights Division. Debbie is the mother of three adult children. She lives in Albuquerque’s North Valley.  Follow her on Twitter @NMRepArmstrong and on Facebook, and sign up for email and text updates.

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