U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, announced the introduction of a bill Thursday that would codify the right to access contraception as recognized by the 1965 U.S. Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut.
The Protecting Access to Contraception Act would prevent state and local governments from restricting the possession, sale, purchase or use of any contraceptive, including birth control medication, IUDs, condoms and emergency contraception like Plan B.
The bill would also authorize private citizens and the U.S. Department of Justice to take legal action against parties that violate the bill’s right to contraception.
“I believe that everyone, regardless of the state in which they live, should have access to safe, effective, affordable and accessible methods of family planning and contraception,” Thompson said in a statement.
Thompson and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, said they co-introduced the bill in light of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned the right to abortion as outlined in 1973’s Roe v. Wade and 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Thompson and Jayapal noted that Justice Clarence Thomas suggested in his concurring opinion on the Dobbs ruling that the high court should reconsider past rulings that recognized the rights to contraception access, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage.
“Access to contraception is crucial to limiting unintended pregnancies,” Jayapal said. “We are already seeing efforts by state and local governments to take away access to contraception methods. With this bill, we will guarantee that anyone who wants access to contraceptive care can be able to get it without state or local officials weighing in on their bodies and their reproductive choices.”