Little support for adding birth control pill to basic health insurance

The contraceptive pill will not be put back on the basic health insurance package. PvdA parliamentarian Lilianne Ploumen submitted a proposal to do so, which will be voted on in parliament on Thursday evening. But it is already clear that there is no majority support, NOS reports.

According to Ploumen, the birth control pill should be on the basic health insurance package because women should not have a financial barrier in their way if they want to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancy. Gynecologists and abortion doctors support this statement, according to the broadcaster.

Currently women over the age of 21 must pay for the pill themselves. The pill is reimbursed for girls under the age of 18, and between 18 and 21 the pill falls under the deductible.

The government and coalition parties argue that women over the age of 21 are able to pay for the pill themselves, pointing out that it costs less than 50 euros a year. Because so many women use the contraceptive pill, including it in the basic health insurance package will entail considerable costs for the government. 

Without the coalition parties' support, Ploumen's proposal can already not count on a majority vote. But populist PVV and Christian SGP are also against Ploumen's proposal. 

On Thursday morning a petition with over 42 thousand signatures was handed to the Tweede kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, calling for the pill to be put back on the basic health insurance package. The petition was launched by Bureau Clara Wichmann, an organization that fights for women's rights, and was supported by various Dutch celebrities.