Rosen Helps Introduce Legislation to Codify the Right to Contraception

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) joined Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) in introducing the Right to Contraception Act, which would codify the constitutional right to access and use contraception, which the Supreme Court recognized in 1965 in its decision in Griswold v. Connecticut. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives and passed last week with a bipartisan vote.

 “At a time when anti-choice politicians around the country are restricting women’s ability to access the reproductive care they need, we have to protect the right to contraception,” said Senator Rosen. “This is about protecting women’s fundamental right to control their own bodies, and we need to urgently pass this critical legislation.” 

 The introduction follows Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in which he urged the Supreme Court to reconsider its 1965 Griswold decision. Several states have already restricted access to contraception by cutting off public funding for it, defining abortion broadly enough to include contraception, and allowing health care providers to refuse to provide services related to contraception based on their own personal beliefs.

The Right to Contraception Act would uphold access to contraception by: 

  • Creating a statutory right for individuals to obtain contraceptives and to engage in contraception;
  • Establishing a corresponding right for health care providers to provide contraceptives, contraception, and information related to contraception;
  • Allowing the 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
  • Protecting a range of contraceptive methods, devices, and medications used to prevent pregnancy, including but not limited to oral contraceptives, long-acting reversible contraceptives, emergency contraceptives, internal and external condoms, injectables, vaginal barrier methods, transdermal patches, vaginal rings, fertility-awareness based methods, and sterilization procedures.

 The Right to Contraception Act is endorsed by multiple national organizations, including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Women’s Law Center, National Organization for Women, Catholics for Choice, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, Jewish Women International, and the National Council of Jewish Women.