Tennessee

Lawmakers join Concerned Tennesseans in Effort To Safeguard Contraceptive Rights

Despite overwhelming public support for contraception, which most American families use, states across the country are threatening our right to contraception (e.g., birth control pills, IUDs).  

Just one year ago, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas voiced support for overturning the constitutional right to contraception – a right established in Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965. Specifically, Thomas wrote that the decision recognizing the right to contraception for married couples (Griswold) should be “reconsider[ed].” 

A few weeks later, 195 House Republicans voted against the “Right to Contraception Act,” including every Republican Member of Congress from Tennessee voting that day. Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn has stated that the right to contraception is "constitutionally unsound".

That’s why leaders in the state are stepping up. Senator Charlane Oliver and Representative Gloria Johnson joined concerned Tennesseans in Nashville this November to announce Tennessee’s “Contraceptive Freedom Act.” The historic legislation – set to be filed in the 2024 legislative session – seeks to protect and preserve Tennesseans’ right to contraception, including condoms, the pill, and IUDs. Other speakers at the event included Dr. Amy Gordon Bono, MD, MPH, a board-certified internal medicine primary care physician practicing in Middle Tennessee, and Rev. Dr. Donna Whitney, a retired physician and Pastoral Assistant at Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville.

Senator Oliver stated, "This legislation will strengthen access to birth control — in all forms including condoms, the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception in Tennessee, and it also enshrines the right for people to use or refuse the method of their choice, regardless of sex, race, age, gender, income, ability to pay, marital status, citizenship, or motive."

Representative Gloria Johnson emphasized, “Access to contraception is a cornerstone of women’s health and equality. Tennessee’s Contraceptive Freedom Act is our commitment to safeguard this right against those who wish to undermine it."

Dr. Amy Gordon Bono added, “From a medical standpoint, Tennessee’s Contraceptive Freedom Act is more than just legislation. It’s a commitment to the health and well-being of Tennesseans. As a physician, I see every day how access to contraception can change lives for the better. Contraception is a basic right that allows individuals to take control of their own lives and make choices about their reproductive health. We must defend this right against any efforts to curtail access or impose unnecessary restrictions."

Learn more about threats to the right to contraception here, review news coming out of Tennessee below, or take action directly by visiting AmericansForContraception.org.

 

Tennessee News:

11/16/2023 - Proposed Tennessee Contraception freedom Act to be Announced by lawmakers Wednesday

11/16/2023 - Democrats introduce Right to Contraceptive Freedom Act

11/16/2023 - IUD prevented unwanted pregnancy, rape victim says as democrats announce bill to protect contraception

11/15/2023 - Legislators push for rights to contraception in Tennessee law

3/23/2023 - Birth Control Must Remain a Key Component of Individual Medical Freedom

12/9/22 - Survey: Tennessee Young Adults Concerned About Birth-Control Access