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Fleming long-acting contraceptives bill passes the House

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Yesterday, Feb. 5, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 1426, which
would increase the availability of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) for Medicaid
recipients. State Rep. Rita Fleming (D-Jeffersonville), who authored the bill, released the following

“Long-acting reversible contraceptives, like the implant, prevent unintended pregnancies without
women needing to take daily medication. It’s traditional to address contraception at the 6-week
checkup, but for many women, this poses a problem. Some women I cared for as a hospitalist came
in with no prenatal care and a positive drug screen. The likelihood of them returning for a
postpartum visit is close to zero, yet these women desperately wanted a reliable contraceptive.
Think of the 18-year-old who just had a baby. She's in high school, and it’s difficult to leave school to
return to the office. But we know that recurring pregnancy within a year will be very problematic for

“We know that short intervals between pregnancies pose serious health risks to mothers and their
babies – especially with Indiana’s poor status of maternal care. We’re seeing rising rates of maternal
mortality and 1 in 4 counties are obstetric care deserts. The health implications are serious.
“I’m grateful that HB 1426 passed the House 94 to 4 and is moving to the Senate for consideration.
The health of women and their babies is paramount, but LARCS will also save the state millions. In
2019, unintended pregnancies cost taxpayers close to $91.4 million in state funding and an
additional $284.6 million in federal funding. LARCs are a practical solution for unintended
pregnancies that impact public health, the economy and the workforce. I thank my fellow legislators
for supporting this bill, and I look forward to its movement in the Senate.

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