Contraception protections are ‘urgent,’ say congresswoman and state lawmaker

Contraception protections are ‘urgent,’ say congresswoman and state lawmaker

Baylor Spears - The WIsconsin Examiner 

Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore and state Rep. Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) called statutory protections for contraception an “urgent” need on Wednesday. Both lawmakers have pushed for a “Right to Contraception” Act in their respective roles at the federal and state levels.

Moore said encoding protections into law are more important than ever due to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which eliminated federal protections for abortions. 

“We have to fight this on every level of government,” Moore said during a press call held by Americans for Contraception. “It’s going to take a coalition to fight against the powerful Supreme Court decision, which undermined and overturned Roe vs. Wade.” 

Similar to abortion prior to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling, two  U.S. Supreme Court decisions — the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut decision and 1972 Eisenstadt v. Baird decision — established that the constitutional right to privacy encompasses the right to obtain contraceptives.

Moore is a supporter of the “Right to Contraception Act” in Congress, which would set out statutory protections for an individual’s right to access and a health care provider’s right to provide contraception and related information. Subeck, alongside state Sen. Dianne Hesselbein (D-Madison), introduced a similar failed bill in the state Legislature that would establish those rights in Wisconsin. Neither measure has progressed due to Republican opposition. 

Moore said statutory protections would help maintain people’s personal autonomy and preserve a woman’s ability to shape her own future.

“It’s about bodily autonomy, and being able to have comprehensive health care. The fight for reproductive rights includes your rights to contraception, and we can’t afford to lose this. It’s time for us to stand up for our rights and values and ensure that our laws protect our values.”

Echoing Moore’s comments, Subeck said that Wisconsinites have “the right to make their own decisions — whether it’s about their reproductive health care, about their families, family planning, or even developing their own future.” She added that people are having to fight to uphold that right.

When asked about the potential for successfully passing statutory protections, Subeck said it will likely take electing new legislators, and that Wisconsin’s new legislative district maps will allow voters to choose representatives who better represent their views on issues like abortion.

Reproductive rights is quickly becoming a major focus for Democrats seeking to motivate voters in the 2024 election cycle. Vice President Kamala Harris held a campaign event in Wisconsin early this week to rally voters around abortion access — it came just a week after two women who were adversely affected by abortion bans in their home states traveled to Wisconsin to campaign for President Joe Biden.

“If you can’t change people’s minds then we need to change who occupies the seats in the state Capitol,” Subeck said. She added that Republicans in the state Legislature have been playing “lip service” to the issue of contraception because it has such broad support.

recent poll by Americans for Contraception found that 88% of voters nationwide say it’s important that people have the right to make decisions about when to use contraception and what method they use.

“If you go out knocking on doors, talking to people and communities across the state, across the country, people on the left, people on the right, Republicans, Democrats, folks who don’t identify with a party support access to birth control,” Subeck said. “But for some reason you walk in that state Capitol or you walk into the halls of the federal Capitol, there’s where you see Republicans not supporting access to birth control, so I do think this is an election issue.”

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