Oregon women can stock up on the birth control patch, pill, or ring after Gov. Kate Brown signed House Bill 3343 into law yesterday. The legislation, which goes into effect next year, requires insurers to offer 12-month supplies of the contraceptives, instead of the usual 30- or 90-day prescriptions. The bill easily passed the state’s Senate and House of Representatives, and Gov. Brown called it a no-brainer. "[It] has a simple premise that I wholeheartedly believe in," she said, according to the AP. "Increase access and decrease barriers." Oregon is the first state in the country to allow a year's worth of birth control to be obtained at the same time.
In a 2011 study, researchers at the University of California San Francisco found that when women had a year’s worth of birth control on hand, unplanned pregnancies dropped by 30%. "Women need to have contraceptives on hand so that their use is as automatic as using safety devices in cars," said the lead author. A bill that would allow Oregon pharmacists to write prescriptions for birth control pills is pending in the state Senate after being passed by the House 50-10 last week, according to the Oregonian. California recently passed similar legislation, but it has not yet taken effect. (Read more birth control stories.)