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Jayapal, Thompson Introduce Bill to Codify Right to Contraception

WASHINGTON –

Today, U.S. Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Mike Thompson (CA-05) introduced the Protecting Access to Contraception Act of 2022, legislation to codify the right of Americans to access contraception. This follows Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ opinion stating that the court should reconsider substantive due process precedents, including Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 Court decision recognizing the constitutional right of married adults to access contraception without government restriction.

“When it comes to our reproductive freedom, it is clear that this right-wing, extremist Supreme Court will not stop at stripping us of our right to safe and legal abortion. It is incumbent on us to ensure that our right to reproductive health care remains protected,” said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. “Access to contraception is crucial to limiting unintended pregnancies. We are already seeing efforts by state and local governments to take away access to contraception methods. With this bill, we will guarantee that anyone who wants access to contraceptive care can be able to get it without state or local officials weighing in on their bodies and their reproductive choices.”

“Last month, the Supreme Court released a decision that gutted Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that provided the right to an abortion. In Justice Thomas’ concurring opinion, he opened the door to going after other fundamental rights that Americans have enjoyed for decades, including the right to contraception,” said Congressman Mike Thompson. “I believe that everyone, regardless of the state in which they live, should have access to safe, effective, affordable and accessible methods of family planning and contraception.  That’s why today, with my colleague Rep. Jayapal, I introduced legislation preventing states or localities from prohibiting or restricting the sale, purchase, possession, transportation, or use of contraception to ensure that further rights are not eroded by this extreme Supreme Court.”

Griswold recognized a constitutional right to privacy regarding reproductive decisions. Before the decision, 32 women were dying for every 100,000 live births in the United States. Today, the rate is less than half of that. Access to contraception helps people live healthier lives, and often is used for something other than pregnancy prevention.

A study from the Guttmacher Institute showed that women use contraception to better achieve their life goals.

Specifically, the Protecting Access to Contraception Act of 2022 would forbid state or local governments from prohibiting or otherwise restricting the possession, sale, purchase, transportation or use of any contraceptive that relates to interstate commerce. The bill allows for a private right-of-action for individuals harmed by violations of this law and authorizes the Department of Justice to bring civil action to remedy any violation of the bill. Lastly, the legislation provides a broad definition of contraceptive, crafted to cover birth control medication, IUDs, condoms, and emergency contraception, as well as other relevant FDA-approved products, devices, or medications.