MADISON, WISCONSIN – Today, Wisconsin State Representative Lisa Subeck and State Senator Diane Hesselbein introduced the “Right to Contraception Act,” which protects and preserves Wisconsiniters’ right to contraception, including condoms, the pill, and IUDs. The move to introduce Wisconsin’s Right to Contraception Act comes the very day Republicans in the U.S. Senate once again blocked the federal “Right to Contraception Act,” legislation sponsored by Senator Tammy Baldwin, which would have codified the right to contraception in federal law. 

Unfortunately, Republicans’ action leaves Wisconsinites vulnerable to state or court-led attacks on contraception. States across the country are also threatening our right to contraception (e.g., birth control pills, IUDs), attempting to pass laws that could regulate contraception as strictly as abortion.  

Last year, 195 House Republicans, including Wisconsin Reps. Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), Bryan Steil (R-WI), and Tom Tiffany (R-WI) voted against the “Right to Contraception Act,” which only passed the House thanks to the support of all 220 Democrats then in the majority. Senate Republicans proceeded to block all action in the Senate. 

Rep. Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) said: “If Dobbs has shown us anything, it is that the fundamental right to privacy we have come to expect as Americans is not guaranteed in the face of extremist legislators and activist judges who put their political agenda ahead of our basic freedom,” said Rep. Subeck, “Today, we are introducing the Right to Contraception Act to make it crystal clear that all Wisconsinites have the right to make their own family planning and reproductive health decisions without interference by politicians.”

Just one year ago, in Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion of Dobbs, Thomas voiced support for overturning the constitutional right to contraception – a right established in Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965. Specifically, Thomas wrote that because the legal basis for Roe v. Wade is also the basis for other rights, including the right to contraception, the decision recognizing that right (Griswold) should therefore be “reconsider[ed].” 

Dr. Kristin Lyerly, MD, MPH added,“The vast majority of women will use contraception at some point in their lifetime for a variety of reasons. From family planning to treating chronic conditions to cancer prevention, contraception is essential health care. It is critical that we protect our ability to access these safe, effective, necessary medications.”

In their efforts to satisfy their fringe MAGA base, the GOP has made clear they do not and will not represent the 90% of Americans in favor of contraception. The GOP hopes Americans won’t notice that it has taken a very unpopular position on this issue, which allows it to violate this fundamental human right in secrecy. 

The right to contraception is a constitutionally protected right that is central to an individual’s privacy, health, well-being, career growth, and participation in our nation’s social and economic life. In addition to family planning, for some, contraception is also essential to the prevention and treatment of various medical conditions like endometritisiron deficiencyovarian cancer, and other cancers. 

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