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June 05, 2024

King Cosponsors Bill to Strengthen and Protect Reproductive Health Care

Ninety percent of reproductive age women use contraception like condoms and birth control

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly 50 years after the Supreme Court’s Griswold v. Connecticut decision protecting access to contraception, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME) has joined legislation to codify this right in federal law. The Right to Contraception Act would guarantee the right for people to obtain and use contraceptives and for health care providers to prescribe contraceptives and make available information related to contraception, free from government interference. Contraception includes over-the-counter methods, such as condoms or emergency contraception; those prescribed by pharmacists, like birth control pills; or those requiring a procedure or medical appointment for short-acting or long-acting reversible contraceptives or more permanent methods.

A 2022 poll conducted by FiveThirtyEight and Ipsos found a majority of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, support access to a wide range of contraceptive methods. According to a National Health Statistics Report, 90% of reproductive age women use or have used contraception.

“I know as well as most that an examination room is pretty small — and in this case it only has place for a women and her doctor — not the federal government,” said Senator King. “The Right to Contraception Act would ensure women have the freedom to make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and continued challenges to reproductive rights across the country, it is even more important to protect women’s rights and codify access to contraception into federal law.” 

The Right to Contraception Act would:

  • Guarantee the legal right for individuals to obtain and use contraception and for health care providers to provide contraceptives, contraception, and information, referrals and services related to contraception;
  • Prohibit the federal government or any state from administering, implementing or enforcing any law, rule, regulation, standard or another provision that would prohibit or restrict the sale, provision or use of contraception; and,
  • Allow the Department of Justice (DOJ), providers and individuals harmed by restrictions on contraception access made unlawful under the legislation, to go to court to enforce these civil rights.

Senator King is a strong supporter of a woman’s right to reproductive health care. He opposed the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade calling it “a dangerous, blatantly political ruling that will rob millions of women the fundamental right to make decisions about their own health, safety, and lives.” Prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling, King voted to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation which would codify the longstanding precedent of Roe v. Wade into federal law and protect the right to these vital healthcare decisions. Last spring, he sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense highlighting the wide-ranging implications of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, and the challenges that restrictive abortion laws pose to servicemember health and finances, military readiness, recruitment and retention. Most recently, he joined bipartisan legislation to ensure military families receive the same access to quality reproductive health care as most Americans.

The full text of the legislation can be found here.


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