Utah lawmaker's plan to cover birth control for the poor

Published on July 13, 2017 at 03:27PM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Republican Utah lawmaker wants the state to offer birth control to poor women who aren’t eligible for Medicaid or other government insurance programs. Utah is one of seven states that don’t offer a family planning program for the poor but Rep. Ray Ward says his proposal would help women and families prevent unwanted pregnancies as they’re trying to climb out of poverty, in addition to saving taxpayer money and preventing abortions. The plan he’ll ask lawmakers to consider next year would cover the costs of birth control that require a visit to a doctor, such as pills or intrauterine devices, but not condoms. It would not cover abortions. Ward says it could save taxpayer money because poor women become eligible for Medicaid when they get pregnant and the program pays for one-third of all births in the state.