A GOP Talking Point Suggests Birth Control Is Not at Risk. Evidence Suggests Otherwise.

“Under no circumstances, form, or type is entry to contraception restricted or vulnerable to being restricted.”

Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.), co-chair, Congressional Professional-Life Caucus on the ground of the U.S. Home, July 21, 2022

Republicans who oppose abortion have new speaking factors — contraception will stay simply out there within the wake of the Supreme Court docket’s choice overturning the federal proper to abortion, and when Democrats say in any other case, they’re simply making an attempt to scare voters.

Variations on this declare have been made by a sequence of Republicans on the House floor July 21 throughout debate on a invoice that might add a proper to contraception to federal legislation. Democrats superior the invoice as a means to make sure the supply of contraception earlier than some abortion opponents have an opportunity to see whether or not the Supreme Court docket will overturn that proper, too.

“This invoice is totally pointless,” stated Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.), a co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. “Under no circumstances, form, or type is entry to contraception restricted or vulnerable to being restricted. The liberal majority is clearly making an attempt to stoke fears and mislead the American individuals, as soon as once more, as a result of of their minds stoking concern is clearly the one means that they’ll win.”

We reached out to Cammack’s workplace to inquire in regards to the foundation for this assertion however didn’t obtain a response.

Related claims have been made within the Senate because it declined to take up the Home invoice on July 27. “This concept that we should spend scarce time right here within the Congress, which we have now in restricted provide, reaffirming rights that exist already is a transparent political narrative designed to divert the American individuals’s consideration from issues that basically are in danger,” stated Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

Nonetheless, a evaluation of paperwork and present efforts in some states to vary legal guidelines signifies there’s important proof that contraception — or no less than some types of it — could also be in danger legally. So we dug in.

On the Supreme Court docket

The cornerstone for this concern could be present in Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case that overturned Roe v. Wade’s assure of entry to abortion. Thomas advised that having discovered no constitutional proper to abortion, the court docket ought to subsequent “rethink all of this court docket’s substantive due course of precedents, together with Griswold.” That could be a reference to Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 case that established a proper for married {couples} to make use of contraception (single individuals have been granted that proper in a separate case in 1972). In Griswold, the court docket discovered that the “due course of” clause of the 14th Modification protects the suitable to privateness.

True, Thomas represents just one vote on the court docket, and the variety of his fellow justices who share his opinion that the contraception case ought to be reversed is unclear. However the Supreme Court docket has already allowed some employers to say no to supply their staff contraceptive protection based mostly on their opposition to abortion. At challenge within the 2014 Hobby Lobby case was the non secular perception of the homeowners of the craft retailer chain that some types of contraception — together with the “morning-after” capsule and two forms of intrauterine units — might produce early abortions by stopping the implantation of a fertilized egg. The court docket determined the federal government couldn’t drive the contraceptive protection requirement from the Inexpensive Care Act on employers with these beliefs.

Scientific proof means that neither the morning-after pill (which is the next dose of a hormone utilized in common contraception drugs) nor IUDs cease the implantation of a fertilized egg and subsequently don’t trigger abortions. Nonetheless, the court docket dominated that the homeowners’ non secular beliefs trumped the federal government’s curiosity in staff getting contraceptive protection.

“That authorized blurring of distinct scientific boundaries between abortion and contraception threatens contraceptive entry in the US,” wrote professors Rachel VanSickle-Ward and Kevin Wallsten in The Washington Post. They predicted that some states “will in all probability ban some types of contraception outright, utilizing the discredited concept that contraceptives act as abortifacients.”

State Motion

Confusion about how some types of contraception work has led to efforts in a number of states to ban sure forms of contraception. Probably the most often focused type of contraception is the morning-after capsule, which may forestall being pregnant if taken inside just a few days of unprotected intercourse however which can not interrupt a longtime being pregnant. It isn’t the identical because the abortion capsule, a routine of two different medicines that do finish a being pregnant as much as 10 weeks of gestation.

And even when the contraception strategies did forestall a fertilized egg from implanting in a lady’s uterus, that might not be an abortion, no less than not according to the medical community. Though many spiritual teams and abortion opponents argue that human life begins when the egg is fertilized, there’s a consensus amongst docs, scientists, and authorized specialists that being pregnant begins at implantation. And, they level out, an abortion is the termination of a being pregnant. Roughly half of all fertilized eggs by no means implant.

Even earlier than Roe was overturned, lawmakers in Idaho referred to as for hearings to ban emergency contraception, and Missouri lawmakers tried to bar Medicaid from paying for the morning-after capsule and IUDs.

Anti-abortion teams are pushing the thought. “Plan B is Able to Inflicting an Early Abortion,” stated a fact sheet from College students for Lifetime of America, referring to the identify of a model of the morning-after capsule. Mannequin laws from the National Right to Life Committee would ban abortion from the second of fertilization, not implantation.

The underside line, wrote professors VanSickle-Ward and Wallsten earlier than the choice overturning Roe was even closing, is that “the court docket doesn’t must formally finish authorized safety for contraception use.”

“If it permits plaintiffs to name contraception abortion, and Dobbs ends authorized safety for abortion, then contraception is in danger.”

Our Ruling

It’s true that, up to now, no state has banned types of contraception. However the risk seems very actual. And absolutely the nature of Cammack’s assertion — saying there’s “no means, form, or type” that entry to contraception is in danger — will not be correct. We charge the assertion False.


Congressional File, July 21, 2022, Pages H6927-H6940

Supreme Court docket, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, June 24, 2022

Supreme Court docket, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, June 30, 2014

Supreme Court docket, Griswold v. Connecticut, June 7, 1965

Stateline, “Some States Already Are Targeting Birth Control,” Might 19, 2022

The nineteenth, “With Abortion Rights in Limbo, Conservative Lawmakers Are Eyeing Restrictions on IUDs and Plan B,” Might 25, 2022

The Every day Beast, “Why Can’t the FDA Fix Outdated Birth Control Labels,” up to date July 12, 2017

Journal of Contraception, “Mechanism of Action of Emergency Contraception,” July 12, 2010

KHN, “FAQ: High Court’s Hobby Lobby Ruling Cuts Into Contraceptive Mandate,” June 30, 2014

KHN, “Misinformation Clouds America’s Most Popular Emergency Contraception,” June 7, 2022

Nationwide Proper to Life, “National Right to Life Committee Proposes Legislation to Protect the Unborn Post-Roe,” June 15, 2022

NPR, “Abortion Foes Push To Redefine Personhood,” June 1, 2011

College students for Life, Facts About Plan B, accessed Aug. 1, 2022

The Washington Publish, “If the Supreme Court Undermines Roe v. Wade, Contraception Could Be Banned,” up to date Might 3, 2022

This story was produced by KHN (Kaiser Well being Information), a nationwide newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about well being points. Along with Coverage Evaluation and Polling, KHN is among the three main working packages at KFF (Kaiser Household Basis). KFF is an endowed nonprofit group offering info on well being points to the nation.

KHN (Kaiser Well being Information) is a nationwide newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about well being points. Along with Coverage Evaluation and Polling, KHN is among the three main working packages at KFF (Kaiser Household Basis). KFF is an endowed nonprofit group offering info on well being points to the nation.


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