Dems fear that red states that ban abortion will next focus on birth control

democrats Concerns about access to birth control are peaking as more red states seek to impose restrictions on, and potentially move to, banning emergency contraception and IUDs.

The big picture: Congressional Democrats are trying to codify some Supreme Court contraceptive precedents in anticipation that the court’s conservative 6-3 majority could overturn them in a future term, said Alina Salganicoff, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

  • “Many people did not believe that Roe v. Wade could be lifted until it actually happened,” Salganicoff told Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a Democrat attempt to create a federal birth control law, just a week after the House of Representatives passed accompanying legislation with bipartisan support.

Between the lines: Judge Clarence Thomas wrote in a unanimous opinion in the judgment overturning Roe v. Wade that the Supreme Court should reconsider “all the material precedents of this court,” including Griswold v. Connecticut and Eisenstadt v. Baird, both birth control guarantee access.

  • No other justice joined his opinion of Thomas. Justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh both said the ruling, which affects federal abortion rights, will have no further reproductive health ramifications.
  • “The Supreme Court has little intention of overthrowing Griswold anytime soon,” Lawrence Gostin, a law professor at Georgetown University, told Axios.

Yes but: While those legal precedents still stand, the Supreme Court has previously ruled to restrict access to contraception.

  • In 2014, judges in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby ruled that private, for-profit corporations were exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s prevention requirement because the requirement violated their freedom of religion.
  • The court joined the companies in arguing that emergency contraception and IUDs could terminate a pregnancy.

What you say: “For years, anti-abortion advocates have struggled to confuse birth control with abortion, and we’ve seen it specifically in the context of emergency birth control and IUDs,” said Elizabeth Nash, senior policy analyst at the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights.

  • It’s “dangerous to tell people that contraception could terminate a pregnancy because it doesn’t,” Nash added, arguing that such misinformation “disperses people… from accessing contraception.”

Game Status: Republican-run states are particularly hostile to Plan B and other emergency birth control pills and IUDs, which are one of the most commonly used birth control methods.

  • Experts believe that some abortion bans these states have enacted could be interpreted to cover these types of contraceptives.
  • The Food and Drug Administration says that an IUD “prevents sperm from reaching the egg, fertilizing the egg, and can prevent the egg from attaching (implanting) in the womb.
  • Looking at laws that prohibit abortion once fertilized, “if you believe life begins at fertilization and if the IUD prevents a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus,” a prosecutor could potentially argue that this form of contraception is against the law. said Naomi Cahn, co-director of the University of Virginia Law’s Family Law Center.

Using the numbers: Guttmacher said nine states have enacted restrictions on emergency contraception, including insurance companies opting out of the endorsement and allowing pharmacists the ability to opt out of dispensing for religious or moral reasons.

  • 12 states have laws that allow some health care providers to refuse contraceptive-related services based on their personal beliefs.

Zoom in: Texas is the only state whose family planning program excludes emergency contraception from the services it covers, and several others have recently attempted to limit funding.

  • Earlier this year, the Alabama legislature introduced a bill to ban “public funding or subsidies for abortion activities,” including emergency contraception that cannot induce an abortion.
  • Last year, Missouri state lawmakers attempted to pass a state Medicaid program funding bill that contained language that would have prohibited the use of state funds for emergency contraception and IUDs.
  • In Louisiana, a Republican legislature, with support from anti-abortion groups, introduced a bill that would have allowed prosecutors to charge a person with murder if they had an abortion, and the original law’s wording would have made some forms of birth control illegal in the state.

What we observe: States with restrictions on emergency contraception and those that have so-called conscience clauses on birth control could potentially move to restricting access further if the Supreme Court overturns decisions protecting contraceptive access, Nash said.

Worthless: Approximately 65% ​​of US women between the ages of 15 and 49 use birth control.

  • Over 99% of the sexually active According to Guttmacher, women have used at least one method of contraception.

The Intrigue: Because contraceptives are FDA-approved, it can be difficult for states to outlaw them.

  • Instead, they could make them more difficult to access by imposing age restrictions, further restricting public funding, and limiting the amount of contraceptive information available.
  • Experts say there’s precedent that states don’t have the power to ban FDA-approved drugs, reports Axios’ Tina Reed, but that won’t stop conservative lawmakers from trying.

go deeper: Delays in Roe medicines put a strain on patients and providers

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