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Pingree Votes to Protect Contraception Access

Maine First District Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and House Democrats today acted urgently to protect the right to contraception amid an emboldened Supreme Court’s threats to strip away more reproductive freedoms in wake of overturning Roe v. Wade

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and House Democrats today passed legislation to codify the right to contraception, now under threat following the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. The Right to Contraception Act (H.R. 8373), will ensure that Americans continue to have the legal right—first recognized in the landmark Griswold v. Connecticut case–to access and use contraceptives. Its passage in the House follows the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which upended reproductive and substantive due process rights, and Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurrence explicitly calling for the reconsideration of the constitutional right to contraception.   

“In the wake of its decision in Dobbs, Justice Thomas made it clear: this partisan Supreme Court majority is coming for birth control and marriage equality next. That’s why on Tuesday, the House and I passed legislation to proactively protect marriage equality for LGBTQ+ and interracial couples; and that’s why today, we passed legislation to guarantee the right to obtain and use birth control as established in Griswold,” said Pingree. “Contraception is basic preventative health care that millions of Americans rely on. I was proud to vote with House Democrats to ensure that women in Maine and across the U.S. have the fundamental human right to make decisions about their own bodies.”

Specifically, the Right to Contraception Act would:

  • Create a statutory right for people to obtain contraceptives and engage in contraception;
  • Establish a corresponding right for health care providers to provide contraceptives and information related to contraception;
  • Allow the Department of Justice, as well as providers and individuals harmed by restrictions on contraception access made unlawful under the legislation, to go to court to enforce these rights; and
  • Protect a range of contraceptive methods, devices, and medications used to prevent pregnancy, including but not limited to oral contraceptives, emergency contraceptives, and intrauterine devices.

Pingree, who is a member of the Pro-Choice Caucus, has been a longtime champion of reproductive freedom, and in the weeks since Roe was overturned, has helped pass several bills in the House to protect those freedoms. Last week, she cosponsored and voted for the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act, which would uphold a woman’s constitutional right to travel for reproductive health care. Pingree has been a strong supporter of the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify Roe vs. Wade into law—legislation that has now passed the House twice. She has repeatedly called for the Senate to abolish the filibuster to pass this critical legislation. 

To learn more about Pingree’s work to protect abortion access, click here.

To read the full text of H.R. 8373, click here.


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