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Shaheen, Collins Send Bipartisan Letter Urging President Biden to Address Access to Contraception Among Service Members

(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) sent a bipartisan letter to President Joe Biden urging him to address access to contraception for service members in his upcoming Presidential Budget Request for Fiscal Year2025. Currently under TRICARE, the uniformed services health care program, service members must pay health insurance co-pays for preventative services, including contraception. This letter requests that the President prioritize access to contraception and provide the same coverage to service members that civilians receive.

The Senators wrote, in part, “The Military Health System serves approximately 1.62 million women of reproductive age, including service members, retirees and their dependents. These women deserve the same no-cost access to contraception as their civilian counterparts.”

The Senators concluded, “Access to contraception is critical to family planning for members of our military who face unique circumstances due to their service. Improved access to contraception, including cost-free access, can help service members better plan for their families and futures. In addition, when service members and military families cannot access preventive health care services like contraception, the health and safety of the force are put at risk.”

Full letter can be found here.

Shaheen has been a leader in the U.S. Senate on expanding access to reproductive health care. For years, Shaheen has led bipartisan legislation – the Access to Contraception for Servicemembers and Dependents Act – to ensure military families receive the quality reproductive health care they deserve. Shaheen’s renewed bipartisan effort is more important than ever amid the unprecedented reversal of Roe v. Wade and numerous anti-reproductive health laws that have been enacted across the nation. In the aftermath of the Dobbs Supreme Court decision, Shaheen also introduced legislation, the Protecting Service Members and Military Families’ Access to Health Care Act, to ensure service members can access care when stationed in states that restrict access to basic reproductive rights, including abortion.

Shaheen has repeatedly addressed the unique and adverse implications that anti-reproductive health care laws will have on servicewomen and military families. Shaheen and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) led 30 of their Senate colleagues in a bipartisan letter urging the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to ensure over-the-counter (OTC) birth control is available for service members and their families on military bases without a copay and without a prescription.