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Hamilton celebrates passage of bill to expand access to long-acting birth control

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Today, the Indiana House of Representatives concurred with changes made by the Senate on House Bill 1426, sending it to the governor’s desk. HB 1426 increases the availability of long-acting reversible contraceptives, specifically the subdermal implant, for postpartum Medicaid recipients.

Instead of waiting until the six-week check-up, doctors are required to have a conversation with postpartum women about whether they’d like the subdermal implant prior to hospital discharge. HB 1426 does not restrict access to other forms of birth control, and doctors are not restricted from discussing birth control beyond the implant – it's simply the starting point for a discussion about the patient's options.

“Our state has the third highest maternal mortality rate in the nation,” State Rep. Carey Hamilton (D-Indianapolis) said. “Science shows that close spacing of pregnancies can increase health risks to both mothers and infants. House Bill 1426 is a critical step in helping new mothers access long-acting reversible contraceptives, giving them the opportunity to plan their next pregnancy.

“The author of this bill, my Democratic colleague State Rep. Rita Fleming (D-Jeffersonville), spent more than 25 years as an OBGYN. She authored this bill based on her firsthand experience. Oftentimes, women facing homelessness, poverty or substance use disorder only visit a doctor when they are in labor.

“This bill expands access to birth control by making sure it is offered in the narrow window after women give birth and before they leave the hospital, in case they don't make it back for postpartum care. While HB 1426 requires the subdermal implant be offered, it does not prevent doctors from offering or providing another form of birth control if it better fits the needs of their patient.  

“Giving Hoosier women greater control over their bodies and family planning will lower healthcare costs and improve maternal health outcomes. It's a great win for Hoosier women, and I'm excited to celebrate it.” 

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