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New Md. Law Makes Birth Control More Affordable, Accessible

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A new Maryland law is on the books, making birth control more affordable and accessible.

WJZ's Alex DeMetrick reports it is among the most progressive in the nation.

At today's bill signing, the Maryland Contraceptive Equity Act was buried in a pile of two hundred pieces of legislation, but outside the Maryland State House, backers of the bill gathered to celebrate.

"This is a big deal," said Karen Nelson, president of Planned Parenthood Maryland. "Its wonderful seeing the State of Maryland pushing forward in a time when so many places across this country are holding women back and holding back reproductive rights and reproductive health."

The law will provide birth control for women and men in Maryland at little to no cost, provided you have health insurance.

It allows women to receive six months of birth control at a time instead of applying monthly, provides insurance coverage for over-the-counter contraceptives, including Plan B, and eliminates co-pays for vasectomies.

Delegate Ariana Kelly (D-Montgomery County) was the sponsor of the house version of the bill.

"Maryland has a really proud legacy of being really forward in thinking in terms of access to reproductive rights, and we want to continue that," she said.

Backers see it as a blue print for other states.

"Here in Maryland were going to have the most comprehensive coverage and the most access, more than anywhere else in the country," Nelson said.

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