Two congressional Democrats are proposing that women in the military be given free access to birth control and family planning counseling.
California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier introduced the measure Wednesday and New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen introduced it in the upper chamber.
“We owe female servicemembers the same access to contraception and family planning services as the women they fight to protect,” Speier said in a statement.
Under President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, civilian women can receive generic birth control at no additional cost if they have insurance. But service members use the military health care system Tricare, which does not provide this benefit. Speier’s bill would consolidate the two plans. But the legislation stands little chance of passage in the Republican-controlled Congress, which wants to repeal Obama’s health care law and is loathe to expand it in any way.