WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, in order to combat right-wing attacks on women’s reproductive health freedoms, Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (PA-04) voted to defend the right to access birth control. The Right to Contraception Act establishes a statutory right to obtain, use, and provide contraception under federal law.
With its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court’s Republican-appointed supermajority erased nearly 50 years of legal precedent. In his concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas called on the Court to reconsider other landmark rulings – including the Griswold v. Connecticut decision recognizing the Constitutional right to use contraceptives.
“Today, I joined my House Democratic colleagues to protect the rights of women to make their own family planning decisions,” Rep. Dean said. “Building on the Women’s Health Protection Act, this legislation will enshrine the right to use birth control in federal law. As Republicans set their sights on criminalizing abortion in all 50 states, House Democrats will fight for reprodutcive freedom.”
These attacks threaten basic preventive health care relied on by millions of Americans. Contraceptive use is crucial to preventing unintended pregnancies, preventing and treating a wide array of medical conditions and decreasing the risk of certain cancers. Support for contraception is nearly universal: 96 percent of voters support having access to contraception, and 99 percent of U.S. women who have been sexually active report having used some form of contraception.
This action builds on the House’s vote last week to advance two pieces of landmark reproductive rights legislation. The Women's Health Protection Act will enshrine the protections of Roe v. Wade into federal law and guarantee Americans’ right to make their own health decisions. Additionally, the Ensuring Women's Right to Reproductive Freedom Act will reaffirm the right to freely travel throughout the country to access reproductive care.
Rep. Madeleine Dean is a mother, grandmother, attorney, professor, former four-term member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and U.S. Representative for the Fourth District of Pennsylvania.