Underwood’s ACE Veteran’s act would expand veterans’ access to contraceptives; Women veterans are the fastest-growing group within the veteran population.
ST. CHARLES, IL — Congresswoman Lauren Underwood‘s ACE Veterans Act to expand veterans’ access to contraceptive health care was considered by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs during a legislative hearing on Thursday — a key legislative step that occurs prior to a bill’s consideration by the full House of Representatives.
Women veterans are the fastest-growing group within the veteran population. Underwood introduced the Access to Contraception Expansion for Veterans (ACE Veterans) Act in 2019 — to ensure our veterans receive the affordable, high-quality health care they deserve. The legislation would improve access to contraceptives for veterans by giving them the option to receive a full year’s supply of birth control pills, patches, or rings at the VA. According to a recent study, a full-year dispensing option for oral contraceptive pills at the VA would both improve health outcomes for women and produce substantial cost savings for the VA.
“Reliable access to contraception is essential health care for women. Currently, most veterans receive a three-month supply of contraceptives. During a pandemic, seeing your health care provider and getting regular refills becomes much more challenging,” said Congresswoman Underwood. “We know that regular access to contraceptive coverage is critical health care, and I will continue fighting for the thousands of veterans in our community who have served our country honorably.”
Underwood, a registered nurse and public health expert, has focused on improving veterans’ health care as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. She has prioritized expanding access to mental health care and women’s health services. Underwood’s bipartisan Veterans’ Care Quality Transparency Act to ensure high-quality mental health and suicide prevention care for veterans passed the House unanimously in 2019. Nearly one year ago, Underwood teamed up with Sen. Tammy Duckworth to introduce the Veterans Preventive Health Coverage Fairness Act to eliminate veterans’ copays for preventive health services.