Right to Contraception Act would protect right to birth control, preventing further restrictions to reproductive rights in the wake of the Supreme Court Dobbs decision
WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet recently joined their Senate colleagues to reintroduce the Right to Contraception Act, a bill which would codify and strengthen the legal right to contraceptives.
The Supreme Court first recognized the right to contraception in its 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut decision. Enshrining the legal right to contraception into federal law would safeguard access to birth control across the country, and protect against any attempt by the Supreme Court to overturn Griswold.
“The freedom to decide when to start a family is fundamental,” said Hickenlooper. “This bill would protect access to all forms of birth control from any overreach by the Supreme Court.”
“Last year, the Supreme Court stripped away a fundamental right from the American people for the first time since Reconstruction and denied their individual liberty to make intensely personal choices about their health and futures,” said Bennet. “As states across the country continue to restrict Americans’ access to reproductive health care, this bill would protect the right to access contraception.”
Several states already restrict access to contraceptives by eliminating public funding for it, defining abortion broadly enough to include contraception, or allowing providers to deny a patient contraception on the basis of their own beliefs. These restrictions to reproductive health care overwhelmingly impact communities of color, low-income people, the LGBTQ community, and those living in rural and underserved areas.
If passed, the bill would remove these already-existing state restrictions.
Specifically, the Right to Contraception Act would:
- Guarantee the legal right for individuals to get and use contraception and for health care providers to provide contraceptives, contraception, and information, referrals, and services related to contraception.
- Prohibit the federal government or any state from administering, implementing, or enforcing any law, rule, regulation, standard or other provision that would prohibit or restrict the sale, provision, or use of contraception.
- Allow the Department of Justice (DOJ), providers, and individuals harmed by restrictions on contraception access made unlawful under the legislation, to go to court to enforce these rights.
This legislation was first introduced last July in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to an abortion.
Full text of the bill is available HERE.