Protecting the Right to Contraception for Families in North Carolina
9-in-10 North Carolina families rely on basic contraceptives to plan their families.
Unfortunately, 195 House Republicans voted against the Right to Contraception Act, a simple bill protecting the right to basic contraception like the pill, IUDs, and condoms. And Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the Supreme Court should consider overturning the ruling that has ensured Americans can access contraception for the past 60 years.
That’s why the North Carolina Senate introduced Senate Bill 540, “The Right to Use Contraception Act.” The bill’s straightforward and plain language makes it clear that the government can not infringe on North Carolinians’ right to basic contraception.
But until the new bill passes both the state senate and house of representatives, North Carolinians’ right to birth control remains in jeopardy.
Now, North Carolinians from both sides of the political spectrum are joining together to ask our representatives to show compassion to families across our state and protect our right to birth control before it’s too late.
Why North Carolina Families Need Their Right to Birth Control Protected
For most families, birth control has become an essential part of building a family. It allows parents to wait to have children until they are ready—emotionally and financially. It means military families can plan pregnancies around deployments. Contraception ensures more children are raised by married parents who bring them into the world at a time when they can provide the most nurturing care.
All around, access to contraception empowers individuals and couples to plan and space their pregnancies, leading to healthier families, improved economic stability, and enhanced overall quality of life.
Enhancing Family Planning and Stability:
The right to contraception enables individuals and couples to plan their families in a manner that aligns with their personal circumstances and aspirations. By providing the means to prevent unintended pregnancies, contraception offers individuals the opportunity to embark on parenthood when they feel emotionally, financially, and socially ready. Parents’ right to choose how to plan and space pregnancies fosters family stability, allowing parents to provide the necessary care, resources, and support to their children, promoting healthier family dynamics and nurturing environments.
Promoting Economic Security:
Contraception plays a pivotal role in promoting economic security within families. By allowing individuals to control the timing and frequency of pregnancies, contraception empowers couples to make informed decisions about their financial future. It enables them to pursue education, enter the workforce, and engage in career advancement, all of which contribute to economic stability and improved living standards.
Supporting Military Families:
Access to birth control is particularly important for military families, as it allows service members and their partners to plan their families around military deployments, training, and other commitments—allowing them to maximize time with their new baby. It offers flexibility and stability for military personnel, ensuring that they can fulfill their duty to our nation while also addressing their family planning needs.
The “Right to Use Contraception Act” is the Next Step in Protecting Access to Birth Control in North Carolina
In recent years, North Carolina lawmakers have aimed to ensure reproductive healthcare access and basic reproductive rights.
On February 1st, 2022, the North Carolina Legislature passed House Bill 96, which allows pharmacists in the state to provide hormonal contraceptives to people 18 years of age or older, and those under 18 with parental or legal guardian approval. This move improves women’s access to basic contraception, but it’s not enough.
In North Carolina, over 600,000 women live in contraception deserts, meaning they must overcome significant barriers to access the contraception they need in order to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. More protections are needed to guarantee their access to contraception in order to reduce unintended pregnancies and improve health outcomes for families across the state.
Could Birth Control Really Be Banned?
Just this past year, 195 US House Republicans voted against the Right to Basic Contraception–the pill, IUDs, condoms. And extreme politicians in 11 states currently have introduced legislation or taken executive action to take away the Right to Contraception.
In Wisconsin, one representative argued on the legislative floor that contraception is responsible for ruining marriages, spreading STDs, and making women act unnaturally.
It's only a matter of time until these arguments become a problem in North Carolina too. When that happens, North Carolina needs to be ready with protections already in place and our right to access birth control codified into state law.