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Idaho bill expanding birth control access heads to governor’s desk

In a narrow 34-35 vote, a bill to require insurance companies to cover up to six months of supplies of contraceptives passed the Idaho House of Representatives on Monday.

Senate Bill 1234 was first introduced by Sen. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, who for several yearshas drafted similar legislation to make it easier for women to access more than a one- or three-month supply of birth control.

In 2022, Wintrow drafted a similar bill that passed the Idaho Senate in a 20-14 vote but failed in the Idaho House. This year, the bill passed the Idaho Senate in a 19-16 vote.

Many opponents of Senate Bill 1234 said creating requirements for insurance companies is not the proper role of the government.

Proponents, however, said the bill would make it easier for college students and women in rural parts of Idaho to have longer supplies of contraceptives. Other proponents included doctors who testified that the bill would reduce maternal mortality, help women with economic self-sufficiency, and prevent unplanned pregnancies under the state’s near-total abortion ban.

The bill is headed to Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s desk, where he can choose to sign it into law, let it become law without his signature or veto the legislation.

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This story was originally published by Idaho Capital Sun.