Here’s How Roe V. Wade’s Cancellation Could Threaten Access to Birth Control



According to a draft opinion obtained by Politics– increasing the likelihood that many birth control methods such as birth control pills and plan B will be targeted next, which lawmakers are already suggesting to do.


According to the draft opinion – which dates from February and is not final – the Supreme Court is set to strike down Roe altogether, with Justice Samuel Alito saying there is no right to privacy in the Constitution that would justify the legalization of abortion.

Legal experts predict that the ruling, if it ends up being the court’s final ruling, could threaten the court’s 1965 decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, which established the right to privacy and legalized birth control (for married couples only at the time), because the court can use its decision against Roe to then overturn Griswold based on his reasoning .

Some Republicans have already voiced their opposition to Griswold, suggesting the precedent could be challenged in court next, such as Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Arizona Senate nominee Blake Masters.

Even if Griswold is not overthrown, some abortion bills already threaten birth control methods like Plan B, such as a bill moving forward in Louisiana and Missouri’s “trigger ban” to ban birth control. abortion as soon as the court overthrows Roe.

These bills could have broader implications beyond abortion by defining the life of an “unborn child” as beginning at fertilization or conception, which would affect common birth control methods and probably in vitro fertilization, because not all eggs artificially fertilized by IVF result in pregnancy.

Some Republican lawmakers have also discussed other measures that would specifically target contraception, with Idaho State Rep. Brendan Crane, who chairs the Idaho House State Affairs Committee, suggesting that the week Last, lawmakers could discuss banning emergency contraceptives like Plan B.

crucial quote

“I think some contraceptive choices would clearly be on the table that you would see now with the removal of Roe,” Maxwell Mak, a political science professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told Insider on Thursday. “[Lawmakers] could easily isolate the take-home abortion pill and the next type of tangential stuff next to that would be plan B and emergency contraception.

Large number

68%. That’s the share of American adults in an April Morning Consult poll that said states should provide free access to birth control if Roe v. Wade is canceled. Large majorities, including about half of Republicans, say they would support making birth control even more accessible if abortion is restricted, with 65% backing increased public funding for family planning services and birth control and 62% favoring requirements for all employer health insurance plans. to cover birth control.


Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (right) signed legislation last week that will criminalize the distribution of abortion pills. A virality Tweeter by attorney Pam Keith falsely claimed that the law would ban Plan B, but the legislation focuses on drugs that would induce abortion, which are separate from emergency contraception.

Key context

The Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe in the coming weeks, according to a February draft opinion obtained by Politics which nullifies the historical opinion of 1973 and declares it “manifestly false”. The Washington Post reports that a majority of justices still supported Roe’s overturning last week, although Chief Justice John Roberts warned that the decision should not be seen as the court’s final word. The leaked plan sparked widespread fears about abortion access if the ruling were finalized — with 26 states likely to ban the procedure — but also raised concerns beyond abortion, as critics warn that the court’s sweeping decision will likely have far-reaching consequences. In addition to birth control, critics have also said rulings upholding same-sex and interracial marriage could be at risk, as well as the court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education which reversed racial segregation in public schools. Texas Governor Greg Abbott (right) has also signaled he may challenge a decision granting public education to undocumented immigrants.

Further reading

Here’s what will happen if the Supreme Court overturns Roe V. Wade (Forbes)

Legal experts warn leaked SCOTUS draft opinion on Roe v. Wade reveals weak point that puts contraceptive use and other privacy rights at risk (Insider)

After the Roe ruling, Idaho lawmakers may consider restricting certain birth control methods (Idaho Statesman)

After Roe: 9 legal experts on rights the Supreme Court could target next (Vox)

Opinion: Alito’s aggressive move would go far beyond Roe (Washington Post)


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