Governor Newsom & the Reproductive Freedom Alliance Urge Federal Government to Require Health Plan Coverage for All Contraception

SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom called on U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to take additional steps to ensure that all forms of contraception are affordable and accessible.


“Accessibility and affordability are essential when it comes to reproductive health care,” said Governor Newsom. “As some parts of the country look to roll back rights, we are standing together with the Biden-Harris administration to protect women and ensure their freedom.”


WHY THIS MATTERS: The non-prescription daily birth control pill could revolutionize access to contraception in the United States — if it is affordable. These governors are joining forces with the Biden Administration in support of affordability by advocating for steps to be taken to require most health plans to cover the cost of the medication.

Governor Newsom, joined by the other Executive Committee governors of the Reproductive Freedom Alliance; Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper – along with Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, issued the letter to express their support for the federal government expanding contraceptive access across the country.

HOW WE GOT HERE: Earlier this year, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first over-the-counter (OTC) daily birth control pill, a development that could revolutionize access to contraception in the United States. The pill is expected to be available to the people across the country in the coming months.

ABOUT THE LETTER: The governors urge the federal government to clarify that non-prescription contraception will be covered without cost-sharing under private health insurance plans subject to Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations, Medicare, and Medicaid. They wrote:

“As Governors, we see firsthand the need for affordable and accessible reproductive health coverage in our communities. In forming the Reproductive Freedom Alliance, we vowed to safeguard and improve reproductive healthcare access in the face of an unprecedented assault on the right to primary healthcare. We urge your departments to promptly disseminate new guidance on coverage of [over-the-counter] contraception and join us in expanding access to reproductive healthcare for the most vulnerable populations in our country.”

A full copy of the letter can be found here.

BIGGER PICTURE: Earlier this year, Governor Newsom launched the Reproductive Freedom Alliance, a nonpartisan coalition of 22 governors, which works to protect and expand reproductive freedom in states across the country.

Learn more about California’s leadership as well as rights and resources available to people accessing abortion care, regardless of what state they live in, at Abortion.CA.Gov.