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After overturn of Roe v. Wade, what does the future of birth control look like?

SCOTUS upholds law that allows employers to refuse birth control coverage on religious grounds
Posted at 4:41 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 04:29:26-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade on Friday ended the constitutional protections for abortion. Now, the revoking of this constitutional right has many worried about what could be next.

In Justice Clarence Thomas' opinion, he wrote that the court should "reconsider all of this Court's substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell."

Griswold v. Connecticut allowed the right to contraception. Following Justice Thomas's opinion, that right may come before the court once again.

"Seeing that abortion is under attack makes people think about what else is next," said Jamie Lockhart, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia's Executive Director said.

Birth control is accessible in Virginia and across the nation, but she says there's a fear that may change.

“I’ve already heard lots of stories, anecdotally, from Planned Parenthood providers about people coming in and saying, ‘You know I wasn’t going to get birth control today or I wasn’t going to get an IUD, but now really wanting to make sure I’m protected for a long period of time,'" Lockhart said.

Kenda Sutton-El, the executive director of Birth in Color RVA, said contraceptives help address other health issues beyond preventing pregnancy.

She works alongside doulas and other maternal health care workers to help families plan their pregnancies or get access to birth control.

“Sometimes women have issues like fibroids or where their cycles are off, or their cycles are different, and sometimes used to help those symptoms," Sutton-El said. "Sometimes people are put on different types of birth control to help control the pain they’re having with their cycle, to control endometriosis, there’s a number of factors that go into birth control.”

Sutton-El said without it, families in need will have limited options.

“If they decide to take that right away, then you have to look at funding, which is mostly how some people get contraception, especially in low-income communities where they aren’t able to pay for birth control and they aren’t able to pay for contraception. What does that look like? And if they do get pregnant, now they can’t get an abortion," she said.

Sutton-El and Lockhart said they would continue to help families get access to birth control.

The Virginia Department of Health partners with 18 different organizations to offer free birth control to eligible patients through its Contraceptive Access Initiative.

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