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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Governor Signs Bill Granting 12-Month Supply Of Birth Control

Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network
Oregon Governor Kate Brown signs HB 3343 into law.

Oregon will become the first state in the nation to let patients get up to a year's worth of prescription birth control at a time.

Governor Kate Brown signed the measure into law Thursday.

The bill will require insurance companies to supply 12-months of prescription contraceptives at a time. Currently, some patients have to visit a pharmacy every 30 days. Other insurance companies let people get a three-month supply through the mail.

But backers of this bill say the convenience and certainty of having a year's worth at a time will lead to fewer unwanted pregnancies.

"We do hope that it becomes a trend that catches on with other states around the country,” said Mary Nolan from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon. “All American women deserve this kind of access."

Some business groups testified against the measure. They called it costly and pushed an amendment that would have allowed just a six-month supply at a time.

In the end, the bill passed with wide support in both chambers.