Metro

Senate passes bill to ensure free birth control

A bill to ensure access to free birth control for women in Massachusetts s one step closer to becoming law.

The State Senate on Tuesday voted 27-0 to pass the bill, which includes a provision requiring health insurers to continue offering coverage — without copayments — for prescription contraceptives regardless of changes in federal policy or any future repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

The senate action came less than a week after the House voted 140-16 to support the bill.

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The legislation was filed in response to President Trump’s executive order issued last month that would allow employers to opt out of providing birth control coverage by claiming religious or moral objections.

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The legislation now heads to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk.

Advocates for women’s health care hailed the bill’s passage.

“The Legislature has affirmed that contraception is basic preventative health care and stood firm for women’s rights,” NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Executive Director Rebecca Hart Holder said in a statement.

“Birth control is basic preventive health care that helps women stay healthy and improves the well-being of children and families,” president of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak said.

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“At a time when women’s health and health care access are in the crosshairs of D.C. politicians, Massachusetts can lead the charge against these politically motivated attacks by safeguarding and improving health care access.”

Material from the Associated Press and State House News Service was used in this report. Jake Johnson can be reached at jake.johnson@globe.com.