Lawsuit calls Dutch State to add contraception to basic health insurance

Two organizations and 7 thousand co-claimants are filing a lawsuit against the Dutch State, demanding that contraception be added to the basic health insurance package for everyone. Bureau Clara Wichmann and DeGoedeZaak will deliver the summons in The Hague on Friday, Valentine's Day, Trouw reports.

The contraceptive pill was removed from the basic health insurance package in 2011, because the government believed there is no medical necessity for it, according to the newspaper. Girls under the age of 18 still get the pill for free from the basic insurance, and girls between the ages of 18 and 21 can deduct the costs from their healthcare deductible. Over the age of 21, women have to pay for the pill themselves, or take out extra insurance.

The two organizations find this unacceptable. According to them, contraception helps women "fully participate in society; education, work and financial independence are within reach." For that reason, this concerns the whole of society, Bureau Clara Wichmann and DeGoedeZaak said, according to the newspaper. "The social, economic and individual benefits of birth control easily outweigh the costs of this on the government budget."

The organizations previously launched a petition, signed by 55 thousand people, asking parliament to return contraception to the basic health insurance package, but there was no majority for that. A proposal by PvdA  parliamentarian Lilianne Ploumen was voted down by the coalition parties. Nationalist PVV and Christian SGP also voted against.