Americans Mobilize to Defend the Right to Contraception
In the USA, 9-in-10 families use birth control to plan when to have children.
But 195 US House Republicans voted against the Right to Contraception Act, seeking to block the federal government from guaranteeing Americans’ access to essential family planning resources like condoms, birth control pills, and IUDs.
In states that have already blocked most abortion access, politicians are looking for new issues to run on, which is placing basic contraception like birth control pills and even condoms at risk.
Already, Republicans in Idaho, Missouri, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Michigan have introduced legislation to restrict or outlaw the most common forms of contraception.
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis used his veto power to strip the state budget of its $2 million allotment for assisting low-income individuals in accessing reliable, long-acting birth control.
Now states across the country have bills to protect the right to contraception. Here is a list of states that are taking action:
North Carolina: “Right to Use Contraception” (Introduced in State Senate)
Wisconsin: “Right to Contraception Act”
Virginia: “Right to Contraception Act” (Introduced in State House)
Also, on June 14, 2023, Senator Markey re-introduced the “Right to Contraception Act,” giving our leaders another chance to protect this important family resource and show compassion to American families.
Benefits of Birth Control for American Families
For American families, birth control has become an essential part of building a family. It ensures husbands and wives can wait to have children until they are ready—emotionally and financially.
Today, women are the primary breadwinners in more than 40 percent of American households with children. Thanks to birth control, women are finally able to build skilled careers and increase their earning potential to support their family. And it can help keep them in the workforce to support the children they already have.
Birth control can also help keep women safe. Two-thirds of women who use birth control, take it to treat health issues not related to pregnancy prevention. Oral contraceptive use has consistently been found to be associated with a reduced risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers. Many times, a woman’s first pregnancy is so dangerous to her life that her doctor will recommend she never carry a child again. In these cases, contraception is an essential part of her healthcare regimen, just as someone with heart problems should take their blood pressure medication or someone with diabetes needs their insulin.
And access to birth control has been one of the key factors in reducing unwanted pregnancies and decreasing the number of abortions. Each year, more than 90 percent of abortions occur due to unintended pregnancy. Providing birth control to women at no cost can reduce abortion rates up to 78 percent.
Could Birth Control Really Be Banned?
Birth control has been banned before (until 1972), and the Supreme Court has indicated it may be willing to ban it again—or at least send it back to the states to decide.
Because 90% of Republicans in Congress refused to codify access to contraception into federal law, the possibility of a contraception ban is still possible—and will have far-reaching consequences for American women and men across the country.