Protecting the Right to Contraception for Families
In the United States, 4-in-5 Hispanic families rely on basic contraceptives to plan their families.
Unfortunately, 195 US House Republicans voted against the Right to Contraception Act last year, seeking to block the federal government from guaranteeing our access to essential family planning resources like condoms, birth control pills, and IUDs. And the US Supreme Court even signaled that they will consider overturning the ruling that has ensured access to contraception for the past 60 years.
If the Supreme Court decides it’s up to states to determine whether or not its people can access birth control, Hispanic communities all across the country will be affected—especially in rural areas where families are already struggling to access contraceptives.
Already, Republicans in Idaho, Missouri, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Michigan have introduced legislation to outlaw the most common forms of contraception.
Now states across the country have bills to protect the right to contraception. Here is a list of states which are taking action:
North Carolina: “Right to Use Contraception” (Introduced in State Senate)
Wisconsin: “Right to Contraception Act”
Virginia: “Right to Contraception Act” (Introduced in State House)
Also, on June 14, 2023, Senator Markey re-introduced the “Right to Contraception Act,” giving our leaders another chance to protect this important family resource and show compassion to American families.
Hispanic Communities Depend on Birth Control
For Hispanic families across the country, birth control has become an essential part of building a family. It ensures husbands and wives can wait to have children until they are ready—emotionally and financially.
Today, women are the primary breadwinners in more than 40 percent of American households with children. Thanks to birth control, women are finally able to build skilled careers and increase their earning potential to support their family. And it can help keep them in the workforce to support the children they already have. This is especially true for single mothers, who are raising 1-in-3 Hispanic children.
Birth control can also help keep women safe. Oral contraceptive use has consistently been found to be associated with a reduced risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers. Many times, a woman’s first pregnancy is so dangerous to her life that her doctor will recommend she never carry a child again. In these cases, contraception is an essential part of her healthcare regimen, just as someone with heart problems should take their blood pressure medication or someone with diabetes needs their insulin. With nearly 1-in-5 Hispanic families living without insurance, it’s especially important that women are able to take these important precautions to safeguard their health.
And access to birth control has been one of the key factors in reducing unwanted pregnancies and decreasing the number of abortions. Each year, more than 90 percent of abortions occur due to unintended pregnancy. Providing birth control to women can reduce abortion rates up to 78 percent.
Could Birth Control Really Be Banned?
Birth control has been banned before (until 1972), and the Supreme Court has indicated it may be willing to ban it again—or at least send it back to the states to decide.
Because 90% of Republicans in Congress refused to codify access to contraception into federal law, the possibility of a contraception ban is still possible—and will have far-reaching consequences for families across the country.