Friday, February 20, 2009

Contraceptive Equity Legislation Dies in Committee

By Shannon S.
SD Public Affairs Manager

Today, the Health and Human Services Committee of the South Dakota Senate killed SB 134. This piece of legislation would’ve required a health insurance company to cover contraceptives as part of its prescription drug plan, if it offered such a plan.

This was the only piece of prevention legislation introduced this year. This is the only piece of legislation that would’ve actually done something to reduce unintended pregnancies. The bill even included a religious exemption for churches and other religious employers.

This was common sense public policy. What a disappointment that our lawmakers and those who lobbied against this couldn’t see that.

All hope is not lost, however. The committee voted to move SB 134 to the 41st day. That means there is an opportunity to “smoke out” the bill to a vote on the full floor of the Senate. I am optimistic the votes are there to do it.

Stay tuned.

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