Reflecting nearly one year after fundamental right to abortion was overturned, Democratic lawmakers worry contraception could be next

The Center for Arizona Policy calls it a solution in search of a problem
Published: Jun. 22, 2023 at 10:51 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Lawmakers reflect nearly one year after the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization stripped millions of Americans of their reproductive rights.

Representatives Andres Cano, Chris Mathis, and State Senator Priya Sundareshan are working to ensure women’s right to birth control aren’t jeopardized.

“We need to stop playing games. We need to provide the opportunity for pregnant people to have the ability to make decisions in consultation with their families. That’s why we’re here,” said Cano.

Priya Sundareshan, Arizona State Senator, added, “As the Dobbs decision last year showed, in the concurrence written by Justice Thomas, they will not stop with the rights to abortion. Other rights are at risk and that includes the right to access contraception.”

That’s why Democratic lawmakers here in Arizona have introduced the Right to Contraception Act protecting the right to birth control statewide.

“If you look at the majority, just because Dobbs case was about abortion, I think the majority is clear, if they have enough of a case related to contraception they very well might decide there is no fundamental right to contraception,” said Rep. Chris Mathis, (D) Arizona.

Last year, that bill passed in the House but died in the Senate. The Center for Arizona Policy calls it a solution in search of a problem.

“It’s a scare tactic. It’s to scare women into thinking now that abortion has been overturned in the state, the next step is to outlaw contraception,” said Cathi Herrod, President of the Center for Arizona Policy. “No one is looking to change any laws on contraception or prohibit women from getting contraception.”

As Americans reflect on the first anniversary of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood says it’s important Arizonans continue fighting.

President and CEO Brittany Fonteno said everyone needs to focus on not only contraception but reproductive healthcare.

“This weekend is a reminder of all Roe was and all it wasn’t. It was a groundbreaking decision, but it was always the floor and never the ceiling. When Roe was the law of the land, it was abundantly clear the legal right to an abortion means very little without access to abortion,” said Fonteno.

As Planned Parenthood works to increase access, Arizona Policy says the focus should be on helping pregnant women in need.

“The Democratic lawmakers and Governor Hobbs should be looking at pregnant women. How we can find common ground on those issues? Instead, Governor Hobbs blocked funding for a group like Maggie’s Place that provides homes for pregnant women and services for pregnant women,” said Herrod. “That’s what our legislation should be talking about. Not a non-issue like access to contraception.”

The Arizona Right To Contraception Act will be voted on during the next legislative session.

Abortion in Arizona is currently legal for up to 15 weeks of gestation.

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