SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) – California women will be able to make fewer trips to the pharmacy to pick up birth control under a new law.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday he has signed SB999 to allow pharmacists to dispense 12 months of hormonal contraceptives at a time, up from the current three-month limit.

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It also requires insurance companies to cover a year’s supply of doctor-prescribed birth control.

The bill’s author, Democratic Sen. Fran Pavley of Agoura Hills, says women are smart enough to carefully use the drugs appropriately.

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Pavley and other supporters say longer supplies will reduce skipped doses and prevent unintended pregnancies and abortions.

Health insurance associations oppose the change, saying it could result in duplicate coverage by different insurers and more wasted medication.

It takes effect on Jan. 1.

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