A Quick Breakdown Of The Right To Contraception Act
In the wake of Dobbs, the Democratic-controlled House is passing a flurry of bills to “codify” constitutional rights that are not really in jeopardy. Yesterday, I wrote about the Respect For Marriage Act, which would require a state to recognize same-sex marriages performed in another state. This bill passed with more than forty votes from Republicans. Today, the House passed The Right to Contraception Act. Here, only eight Republicans crossed over. Let’s walk through the bill.
First, the bill creates a statutory right to access contraception and contraceptive. These terms are defined quote broadly:
(1) CONTRACEPTION.—The term ”contraception” means an action taken to prevent pregnancy, including the use of contraceptives or fertility-awareness based methods, and sterilization procedures.
(2) CONTRACEPTIVE.—The term ”contraceptive” means any device or medication used to prevent pregnancy, whether specifically used to prevent pregnancy or for other health needs, including all contraceptive products approved, cleared, or granted de novo classification by the Food and Drug Administration, such as oral contraceptives, long-acting reversible contraceptives, emergency contraceptives, internal and external condoms, injectables, vaginal barrier methods, transdermal patches, and vaginal rings, or other contraceptives.
During the Hobby Lobby litigation, many religious rights groups viewed certain forms of FDA-approved contraceptives, like Plan B and Ella, as abortifacients that can operate after the point of fertilization. As I read the bill, all of these forms of emergency contraception would be covered. Moreover, I wonder if the FDA could later redefine abortion pills as a form of contraceptive–after all they “prevent pregnancy” from continuing.
Second, the bill explains that both the health care provider and the patient have this statutory right:
A person has a statutory right under this Act to obtain contraceptives and to engage in contraception, and a health care provider has a corresponding right to provide contraceptives, contraception, and information related to contraception.
And the bill explains that federal and state governments cannot interfere with a health care provider’s ability to provide contraception.
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize any government to interfere with a health care provider’s ability to provide contraceptives or information related to contraception or a patient’s ability to obtain contraceptives or to engage in contraception.
Article from Reason.com