right to contraception act passes house
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Bill creating right for providers to dispense, provide info about contraception passes House

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The rights of women to have access to contraception in the United States are one step closer to protection under federal law.

The Right to Contraception Act, cosponsored by U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, passed the House July 21.

Spanberger cosponsored the legislation, according to a press release, after the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and upended reproductive rights in the U.S. Justice Clarence Thomas explicitly called for the reconsideration of cases that have established Americans’ right to privacy, including the constitutional right to contraception.

“All Americans deserve the freedom to make their own private healthcare decisions without the government breathing down their necks,” Spanberger said in a press release. “In his concurrence in the Dobbs case, Justice Clarence Thomas called into question multiple rights based on our foundational right to privacy — including the right to decide if and when you can use contraception. Allowing our government to meddle in the reproductive healthcare decisions of the people it serves is an affront to the personal freedom granted to us as Americans. Today, I’m glad to see my colleagues in the House recognize the need to codify the right to access contraception, and I will continue to protect the privacy and due process rights of every American.”

Congressman A. Donald McEachin also voted in support of the legislation Thursday.

“The conservative Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has jeopardized the fundamental freedoms of women across the country,” McEachin said in a press release. “Already, Republican-controlled states are attempting to restrict contraceptive methods. Contraception is fundamental to protecting bodily autonomy, advancing gender equality, achieving better health outcomes, and ensuring economic opportunity and mobility. I am proud to help pass the Right to Contraception Act to safeguard Americans’ ability to make their own decisions about their future.”

The Right to Contraception Act would create a statutory right for providers to dispense and provide information about contraception, as well as right of patients to have access to contraception. According to the press release, for the first time, the bill would create a statutory definition of contraception. The bill would not impact insurance coverage of contraception.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.