Legislative Alert

Letter Supporting Legislation That Would Protect the Right to Contraception

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the AFL-CIO, I strongly urge you to vote in support of S. 4381, the Right to Contraception Act, when the bill comes to the Senate floor. Women workers must have the right to control and make decisions about their own bodies, including whether and what type of contraception to use to prevent pregnancy or protect their health.

The Right to Contraception Act establishes a “clear and comprehensive” federal statutory right to contraceptives and the right of health care providers to provide contraceptives as well as information and services related to contraception, regardless of where patients live or health care providers practice medicine. The denial of contraceptives and contraceptive care is a form of discrimination against women and an attack on workers’ right to basic health care. Contraception not only provides control over whether or when to become a parent, but also serves as a treatment for many health conditions that affect women, including their risk of developing ovarian and endometrial cancers and the risks of maternal mortality.

Unions have successfully bargained equal access to contraceptives for their members on the same terms as coverage for other drugs and preventative care in collectively bargained health care benefits. Improvements in reproductive health led to improvements in women's economic empowerment by improving women's educational opportunities and labor force participation. Restrictions on access to contraceptives threaten the health and economic security of working people. The AFL-CIO urges you to protect the right to access contraceptive care by voting in favor of S. 4381, the Right to Contraception Act.

Jody Calemine
Director, Government Affairs