The “Right to Contraception Act” Would Protect the Right to Access Contraceptives — Which Justice Clarence Thomas Called Into Question When the Supreme Court Overturned Roe v. Wade One Year Ago This Month
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger today helped reintroduce bicameral legislation to codify the right for Americans to access all forms of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved birth control into federal law.
Last year, Spanberger cosponsored the Right to Contraception Act following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — which upended reproductive and substantive due process rights. Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurrence in that case explicitly called for the reconsideration of multiple rights — including the constitutional right to contraception.
“When the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Dobbs, Justice Thomas explicitly called into question additional rights beyond access to legal abortion — including the right to use contraception,” said Spanberger. “All Americans deserve privacy in making their own healthcare decisions. And all providers deserve the freedom to provide the most accurate information to their patients. Today, I’m joining more than 80 of my colleagues in introducing legislation to protect these rights, guarantee the right of all Americans to access contraception, and safeguard rights that have been afforded to Americans for generations.”
The Spanberger-backed legislation — which has been introduced in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate — would create a statutory right for providers to dispense contraception and provide information about contraception, as well as for patients to access contraception. The bill would also create a statutory definition of contraception for the very first time. The bill would not impact insurance coverage of contraception.
Specifically, the Right to Contraception Act would:
- Create a statutory right for people to obtain contraceptives and engage in contraception;
- Establish a corresponding right for healthcare providers to provide contraceptives and information related to contraception;
- Allow the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as providers and individuals harmed by restrictions on contraception access made unlawful under the legislation, to go to court to enforce these rights; and
- Protect a range of contraceptive methods, devices, and medications used to prevent pregnancy, including but not limited to oral contraceptives, emergency contraceptives, and intrauterine devices.
The Right to Contraception Act is led in the U.S. House by U.S. Representatives Kathy Manning (D-NC-06), Nikema Williams (D-GA-05), Sara Jacobs (D-CA-53), and Angie Craig (D-MN-02). The companion bill is led in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).