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Women's health bill continues to be debated in Senate

May 02, 2001
By: Jennifer Ginsberg
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Women's health issues continued to be debated in the Senate on Wednesday, with questions raised about whether or not contraceptives were an integral part of women's health.

Sen. John Loudon, R-St. Louis County, raised concerns that contraceptives should not be covered under insurance policies because of the $10 million the state already spends annually toward contraceptives and the amount of private money that is given to provide free contraceptives.

"I think contraceptives are an integral part of women's health," said Sen. Ken Jacob, D-Columbia, who offered an amendment that would allow for insurance companies that covered the cost of prescription drugs to also to cover the cost of contraceptives.

"This debate was an opportunity for people to discuss their concerns. The bill is a result of a wonderful coalition of about eight to 10 pro-life and pro-choice groups," said Sen. Betty Sims, R-St. Louis County, who is handling the bill in the Senate. "It's discouraging to me that some members of the body don't recognize or accept the work of that coalition."