U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), alongside other members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, introduced the Right to Contraception Act, a bill that will codify the constitutional right to contraception. The U.S Supreme Court has upheld this right more than half a century ago in Griswold v. Connecticut. 

U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO)

“We should never sit by as the Supreme Court considers taking away a right to contraception. We must protect access to all reproductive health care,” said Hickenlooper.

On June 24th, the Supreme Court issued its opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson, a historical decision in which the Court held that the U.S constitution did not protect the right to abortion. The decision overturned the decades-long precedent of Roe v. Wade. 

Following Justice Clarence Thomas’ opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Thomas called for the Court to reconsider the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut decision. Many states already restrict access to contraception by allowing health care providers, doctors, and nurses to refuse services relating to contraception based on personal beliefs. 

According to the bill text, the Right to Contraception Act upholds: A statutory right for individuals to obtain contraceptives and to engage in contraception; A right for healthcare providers to provide contraceptives, contraception, and other information related to contraception; And allows the Department of Justice and individuals harmed by restrictions on contraception access to go to court. 

The bill also protects other contraceptive methods and medications that are used to prevent pregnancy which include but are not limited to internal and external condoms, emergency contraceptives, and vaginal barrier methods.

Reproductive and women’s rights advocacy groups such as Planned Parenthood, Pro-Choice America, and National Women’s Law Center, among others, have endorsed the bill. 

Hickenlooper has co-sponsored four bills after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. He also supports the Women’s Health Protection Act which would uphold abortion rights. 

“This is about freedom. In this new, post-Roe era, women can be forced into government-mandated pregnancies. States are stripping women of the freedom over their bodies and their future,” Hickenlooper said in a speech on the Senate floor discussing the “large influx” of abortion patients Colorado is seeing since Roe was overturned.