In 2021, Republicans in Missouri they tried to ban taxpayer funding for intrauterine devices and emergency contraception. Missouri is one of four states — the others are Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas — to cut Planned Parenthood, a major provider of contraception, from its Medicaid programs.
At the same time, the federal Planned Parenthood program known as Title X is being challenged in Texas, where a federal judge ruled late last year that he violated the constitutional rights of parents by allowing clinics to provide birth control to minors without parental consent. If upheld, the ruling could threaten access to birth control for minors across the country.
So far, however, the Dobbs case has not spawned the kind of widespread attacks on birth control that advocates had feared. According to the Guttmacher Institute, access to birth control has actually increased in a handful of red states. monitors reproductive health measures.
In Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb signed legislation allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control. In West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill requiring insurance plans to cover a 12-month supply of birth control from pharmacies. In Arkansas, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed legislation requiring Medicaid to cover IUDs and other long-acting, reversible contraceptives for women who have just given birth. They are all Republicans.
The push for birth control laws comes as the FDA considers allowing birth control pills for sale over the counter first. Agency Advisory Panel he said last month that the benefits of over-the-counter contraception outweigh the risks. In anticipation of possible action by the FDA, Senate Democrats recently reintroduced legislation this would require insurance companies to cover over-the-counter contraception.
But Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, a Nevada Democrat and one of the bill’s main sponsors, said she didn’t know if proponents of the measure could garner any Republican support in the current post-Dobbs climate. “We think we should,” she said, “but, you know, these are different and challenging times.
In North Carolina, the Dobbs case and abortion politics doomed a bill to affirm the right to contraception, said state Sen. Lisa Grafstein, the Democrat who introduced the measure. Ms. Grafstein said in an interview that she had spoken with at least one Republican who was interested in becoming a co-sponsor.