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Democrats file ‘Right to Contraception Act’ in Louisiana


Democrats file ‘Right to Contraception Act’ in Louisiana

Mar 04, 2024 | 4:26 pm ET
By Wesley Muller
Democrats file ‘Right to Contraception Act’ in Louisiana
Opill, a progestin-only contraceptive pill, will be available without a prescription in the first quarter of 2024, according to its manufacturer. (Photo courtesy of Perrigo Co.)

In the face of Republican threats to reproductive health care, Democratic state lawmakers filed legislation Monday that would guarantee access to contraception in Louisiana. 

Sen. Royce Duplessis and Rep. Delisha Boyd, both New Orleans Democrats, have filed Senate Bill 225 and House Bill 395, respectively. Referred to as the “Right to Contraception Act,” the legislation mirrors that filed in other states in an effort to counter a national conservative movement to revoke access to birth control and other reproductive health care.

The bills would codify an individual’s right to birth control, emergency contraceptives and information related to contraceptives. It would also guarantee health care providers the right to provide such contraceptives. It is one of many proposals that have been pre-filed ahead of the Louisiana Legislature’s upcoming regular session, which will run from March 11 to June 3.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, many Republican-controlled states — including Louisiana — have enacted abortion bans and other measures that have jeopardized reproductive health care such as emergency contraceptives and treatments for ectopic pregnancies.

A recent court decision in Alabama that gave full personhood to human embryos has halted in vitro fertilization (IVF) in that state. Louisiana Republican lawmakers backed a measure in 2022 that could have similarly placed IVF in jeopardy by making it a crime to harm or dispose of a fertilized egg. 

Congressional Republicans have proposed legislation that could have the same effect nationwide, though U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, has since signaled contradictory views following recent public backlash, according to a Huffington Post report.

Gov. Jeff Landry has indicated he supports Louisiana’s current abortion ban, which does not include exceptions for rape or incest. When he was attorney general, Landry pressed the Biden administration to provide information on Louisiana residents who sought abortions out of state.

The governor has not publicly stated his stance on IVF.