Testimony of Peter Michaud, J.D., R.N., on Behalf of
the Maine Chapter of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology
In support of LD 1237,
An Act to Require Insurance Coverage for Contraceptive Supplies
Joint Select Committee on Insurance and Financial Services
Room 220, Cross State Office Building
Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 1:00 p.m.
Good afternoon Senator Whittemore, Representative Lawrence, and Members of the Committee on Insurance and Financial Services, my name is Peter Michaud. I am Associate General Counsel of the Maine Medical Association and a registered nurse licensed to practice in Maine. I live in Readfield, and I am testifying today on behalf of the Maine Chapter of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Maine ACOG) in support of LD 1237, An Act to Require Insurance Coverage for Contraceptive Supplies.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is a membership organization dedicated to the advancement of women’s health care and the professional and socioeconomic interests of its members through continuing medical education, practice, research, and advocacy.
LD 1237 is about access to contraception. Access is essential: it can take only a few days after cessation of treatment for conception to occur. Perhaps most important is the fact that lack or difficulty of access is frequently a reason women give for discontinuing contraception. Short prescription durations are arbitrary, and they limit access. There is no medical reason why a one-year prescription cannot be given to a patient, especially when it has been preceded by a three-month test period.
Contraception is a health saver, and a life saver. Studies have shown that increased availability of contraception leads to decreased mortality for both mothers and babies. It leads to better health and decreased risk, particularly in the presence of such conditions as diabetes and hypertension. It leads to a decrease in the number of abortions, which have been found to occur in one-half of unintended pregnancies. Contraception also leads to better pregnancy and birth timing planning, which in turn result in better family situations.
Finally, contraception is a cost saver. Poor health is costly, so the improvement in health that comes from the avoidance of unintended pregnancies leads to cost savings. Unintended births can be costly to the family and to society for years. Finally, maternity and births themselves are costly.
Thank you for considering the MMA’s perspective on LD 1237. We respectfully ask you to vote the bill “Ought to Pass.” I would be happy to respond to any questions you may have.