NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia

What is Choice?

Birth Control
Comprehensive Sex Education
Healthy Pregnancies, Births, and Families

Get Email Updates

Powered by EveryAction
Privacy Policy »

Abortion Providers

Do you need an abortion?
If you're pregnant and you've decided not to continue your pregnancy, please visit our take charge of your health page to view an interactive map of Virginia abortion providers.


Learn More

Share This

Birth Control

Birth control empowers women to decide whether and when to have a family. We advocate for the expansion of access to birth control to help women prevent unintended pregnancy and protect their health.

The Problem:

99% of American women will use contraception at some point in their reproductive life. About 43 million American women of reproductive age are sexually active and do not currently want to become pregnant. But consistent, affordable access to their chosen birth control method remains unnecessarily difficult for far too many women in our communities. [1]

Many anti-choice politicians and groups are just as hostile to birth control as they are to abortion. They work to restrict access to contraception, particularly for low-income women and women who work for certain employers.

Insurance Coverage Gaps

  • Insurance plans should fully cover contraception without a copay as an essential benefit – and most now do, thanks to Obamacare. But Virginia employers are still permitted to purchase insurance plans that don’t fully cover birth control. This forces women to pay out of pocket for contraception.

Restrictive Birth Control Options

  • Insurance companies can still offer selective coverage of some methods of contraception. For example, an insurer may provide coverage of only one type of birth control pill, unnecessarily restricting women’s access to other safe and effective methods of contraception that may work better for them.

Limited Supply of Birth Control

  • Most insurance companies only allow for oral contraception to be dispensed on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, regardless of the amount of medication permitted through the prescription. This results in barriers to access – more trips to the doctor and the pharmacy -- that can interfere with affordable and consistent birth control use.

Our Solution:

We need to ensure that all women have affordable, consistent access to the birth control method that works best for them.

  • Protect insurance coverage of contraception and pass a contraceptive equity law in Virginia, requiring that all employment-based insurance plans cover methods of birth control. Contraceptive equity laws guarantee that insurers provide comparable coverage for FDA-approved methods of contraception as prescription medications covered by that plan.

  • Mandate insurance coverage of a full year-supply of FDA-approved forms of birth control. This removes logistical and cost barriers women face to fill their prescriptions, leading to more consistent use of contraception and ultimately a reduction in unintended pregnancy.

  • Protect contraception access at pharmacies – including over-the-counter emergency contraception – and ensure pharmacists cannot refuse to fill a woman’s birth control prescription.

  • Support programs that help low-income and under-insured Virginians access contraception affordably at family-planning clinics.

  • Educate Virginians about their rights in obtaining various forms of contraception and having it covered by their insurance.

[1] "Contraceptive Use in the United States.” Guttmacher Institute, October 2015.

Additional Information:
It's critical that more women have accurate information and access to emergency contraception (sometimes known as "the morning-after pill") to help prevent pregnancy after contraceptive failure, or in cases of sexual assault.
Share This
© NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia