A year after Justice Clarence Thomas said the Supreme Court should reconsider whether the Constitution gives Americans the right to contraception, Democrats and advocates for reproductive rights are calling for access to contraception. It lays the groundwork for a state-by-state battle over it and wants to turn the issue around. It will face the Republican Party in 2024.
The judge’s argument in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Roe vs Wade Ace Attorney And abortion rights galvanized the reproductive rights movement. House Democrats immediately joined eight Republicans, bill passed That would have created the right of contraception for the people. Republicans blocked a related bill in the Senate.
Today, advocates of reproductive rights are making their case in each state. Even before Dobbs, some states had taken steps to protect the right to contraception through statutes or constitutional amendments. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia currently have such protections, according to the KFF, a health policy research institute.
This month, in Nevada, where the movement appeared to be on the brink of victory, the Democrat-dominated Congress, with the support of a minority of Republicans, passed a bill guaranteeing the right to contraception. But on Friday, Republican Governor Joe Lombardo quietly vetoed the bill. Proponents of codifying such rights viewed Nevada as a test case.
“It’s up to Republicans to choose whether they want to protect the right to contraception,” Sen. Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts and proponent of the Senate veto bill, said in an interview before the governor’s veto. Markey called Dobbs’ decision “a precursor to atrocities to come.”
Markey and Rep. Kathy Manning (Democrat of North Carolina), Wednesday, Reintroduced Law Create the right of citizens to contraception. With the House now dominated by Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, well short of the 60 votes needed to destroy the filibuster, the bill will likely be crippled by the time it arrives in Washington.
Polls consistently show that Broad bipartisan support Republicans may not be keen on enshrining contraceptive rights in federal law, but they also don’t want to ban contraceptives in general. Still, there are arguments against contraception.
The Roman Catholic Church opposes any form of artificial contraception, and some contraceptives are “It can cause premature abortion.” Among abortion opponents, two common methods of preventing pregnancy, the intrauterine device and the emergency contraceptive pill (also known as the morning after pill and marketed as Plan B), are used to prevent pregnancy from entering a woman’s uterus. Some claim it is an “abortion drug” that prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg.
but The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says: Intrauterine devices work “mainly by preventing the fertilization of the egg by the sperm.”and the The Food and Drug Administration said: Last year, they argued that Plan B wouldn’t prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus and wouldn’t be considered an abortion drug.
Critics of codifying the right to contraception say such a bill would be a safe solution, or intended to put Republicans in a difficult position and encourage voters to vote them down at the polling place. claims to be a purely political gesture.
Republican strategist John Feeley said of last year’s House bill vote, “Most Republicans saw this as a political vote, not an actual serious vote.” “There is a small, vocal anti-contraceptive force in the Republican coalition, but the majority of Republicans have no interest in outlawing contraception.”
Controversy over contraception has also become increasingly linked to abortion since the Dobbs ruling. Some Republicans who voted against the House bill said more money would have gone to family planning organizations that are targeted by many in the party because they are major providers of abortions. I expressed my dissatisfaction. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers, a Washington Republican, called the bill “a Trojan horse that will increase abortion.”
Representing the majority opinion in the Dobbs case, Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. emphasized that the ruling “was about constitutional abortion rights and not about other rights.” but, Concurring opinionJustice Thomas said the Supreme Court. Other judgments should be reconsidered, including Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 ruling that established the right of married couples to contraception. He said Dobbs’ majority logic undermined Griswold.
“For years, we have been asking elected officials across the country to provide abortion and contraceptive access,” said Claire Coleman, president and CEO of the National Association for Family Planning and Reproductive Medicine, which represents health care providers. They have asked us to pay more attention to confusion.” “You shouldn’t have to answer the question ‘Why are you worried?’
Ms. Coleman and her movement allies argue that complacency is sacrificing American women’s abortion rights. They also recognize worrying efforts to limit access to contraception.
Republicans in Missouri, 2021 tried to ban taxpayer funding For intrauterine contraceptives and emergency contraceptives. Missouri is one of four states to exclude the family planning system, the primary provider of contraception, from Medicaid, the rest being Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas.
At the same time, the federal family planning program known as Title X is being challenged in Texas. The verdict was handed down at the end of last year It alleged that the clinic violated parents’ constitutional rights by allowing teens to use contraception without parental consent. If upheld, the ruling could threaten access to contraceptives for minors across the country.
So far, however, the Dobbs case has not sparked the kind of widespread contraceptive attack feared by contraceptive advocates. In fact, according to the Guttmacher Institute, access to contraception is increasing in a small number of red states. Track reproductive health measures.
In Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb signed a bill allowing pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives. In West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice signed into law a bill requiring insurance plans to cover 12 months of contraceptive supplies from pharmacies. In Arkansas, Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a bill requiring Medicaid to apply intrauterine devices and other long-acting reversible contraceptives to women who have just given birth. All are Republicans.
The FDA’s consideration of permitting oral contraceptives has begun to push for legislation declaring the right to contraception. sold over the counter first time.Advisory Board of the Agency said last month The benefits of over-the-counter contraceptives outweigh the risks. Anticipating possible action by the FDA, Senate Democrats recently reintroduced laws In that case, insurance companies would have to cover over-the-counter contraceptives.
But Nevada Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, one of the bill’s leading proponents, said she wasn’t sure whether supporters of the bill would win Republican support in the current post-Dobbs situation. “We think we should,” she said. “But as you know, these are difficult times, unlike ever.”
In North Carolina, the Dobbs case and abortion policy doomed the passage of a law affirming the right to contraception, said Democratic Senator Lisa Grafstein, who introduced the bill. In an interview, Grafstein said she had spoken to at least one Republican who was interested in co-sponsoring.
But that was before state legislators moved to state. ban most abortions after 12 weeks.
“Once the abortion debate began, there was no further discussion of these kinds of issues,” Grafstein said. “The landscape has changed significantly in terms of whether such conversations are possible at this time.”
Even in Nevada, where voters codified abortion rights through a referendum more than 30 years ago in 1990, the bill’s proponents had a hard time persuading Republicans to sign it. Its chief sponsor, Democratic Rep. Selena Torres, said in an interview before her veto that abortion was overshadowing the debate in Congress.
“This was a completely different topic than abortion,” Torres said. “But I think Dobbs’ decision is what ultimately drives this conversation.”
Proponents of codifying the right to contraception hoped to use Nevada as a model for other states and put pressure on Republicans in Congress. Last year, the advocacy group Americans for Birth Control, which coordinates state-by-state strategies, ran ads attacking Republicans who voted against the House bill. On Friday night, Mr Lombardo issued a statement that he had “displayed extremist hues”. A spokeswoman for the governor didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.
The Americans for Contraception Group said five other states — Arizona, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin — have also convened Democratic state legislators to introduce laws guaranteeing contraceptive rights next year.
“Last year, 195 House Republicans tried to get away from opposing contraceptive rights by voting against a simple bill,” said Dana Singizer, a senior adviser to the group, after the Nevada bill passed. rice field. “Nevada shows that some colleagues at the state level recognize that supporting contraceptive rights is a policy and a political truism.”
In Washington, it’s easy to explain why so many Republicans voted against the House bill. Susan B. Anthony Prolife America, an anti-abortion group, decided to include the vote in its legislators’ scorecards.
organization ridiculed the measure He said the law “violates the right of conscience” in states that allow health care providers and pharmacists to refuse contraception. The group argues that the bill’s definition of contraceptives (“any drug, device or biological product intended for use in preventing pregnancy”) is too broad and is interpreted to include abortion drugs. argued that it was possible.
“Republicans like to think they’re pro-life, but Susan B. Anthony Group helps define who’s pro-life,” said Feehery, a Republican strategist. “I think most so.” added. Republicans would rather side with Susan B. Anthony than with family planning. ”