RELEASE: Door to criminalizing birth control in MO now open, will the legislature act?

Failure to protect contraception means a ban could follow the same path as abortion in the state

Friday, June 7, 2024

COLUMBIA, Mo. – New research shows a majority of Missourians are afraid of losing even more of their freedoms. And Missouri’s politicians are giving them every reason to be concerned. 

On Wednesday, U.S. Senators Josh Hawley and Eric Schmitt voted against the Right to Contraception Act blocking the bill’s passage in Washington. Without protection in place, the Missouri legislature could move to eliminate those freedoms as they did with abortion rights in 2022 just minutes after the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson.

According to data from the Missouri Family Health Council, over 85% of Missourians support people having access to all methods of birth control. But nearly 60% of Missourians have expressed concern about state elected officials restricting access to it.

Nancy Bateman is a retired nurse from Jefferson City who has seen firsthand how dangerous these bans are for women.

“At my age I have witnessed the advances in civil rights women and minorities have made in the past 60 years. The terrible and unequal laws that have been enacted have made me heartsick and afraid for our citizens,” Bateman said. “It’s a travesty and overreach of government in the quest for adequate health care.”

The fear Missourians feel stems from an actively harmful state legislature. The politicians who opportunistically jumped at the chance to enact the abortion ban failed to pass any laws protecting the health and wellness of Missourians.

This legislative session, the Missouri legislature could have passed a bipartisan women’s health bill with provisions on birth control access, mammograms, rape kit tests and STI screenings. But politicians incorrectly equated birth control with abortifacients and the delays sunk the bill.

In passing a record-low 28 non-budget bills – surpassing the previous low of 31 in the COVID-marked 2020 session – Missouri elected officials have yet again demonstrated just how little they care about the basic health and wellness of Missourians.