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West Virginia women’s health bills head to governor’s desk

By ERIN BECK

The Register-Herald

Margaret Chapman Pomponio, CEO of WV Free, speaks at an event while her twins seek her attention.
(Courtesy photo)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Two bills that health care providers and advocates say will result in healthier women and babies in West Virginia are on their way to the governor’s desk for a signature.

A women’s health advocacy group called House Bill 2583, the Family Planning Access Act, “landmark legislation,” saying it will help more women obtain birth control, but two health care providers criticized lawmakers for excluding adolescent girls from the bill.

House Bill 2583, sponsored by Del. Jordan Hill, R-Nicholas, will let adult women obtain birth control at pharmacies without first seeking a prescription from a health care provider. They won’t have to seek their own prescription because State Health Officer Dr. Cathy Slemp plans to issue a “standing order” for birth control prescriptions. In effect, that means she writes a prescription that applies to all adult women in West Virginia, although the pharmacist must be trained first and require the women to self-screen for certain conditions, such as clotting disorders.

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