Plans announced for a Right to Contraception Act to be filed in Mississippi’s 2024 legislative session

Published: Oct. 13, 2023 at 11:28 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The right to an abortion in Mississippi is blocked aside from a couple of exceptions. Now there’s a political question of whether that’s the last attempt at restricting access to women’s reproductive decisions.

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas argued the court should reconsider its past rulings solidifying the rights to contraception access.

”I’m currently pregnant,” said Jitoria Hunter, Vice President of External Affairs for Converge. “I’m six months pregnant and I’m 30 years old, but I’ve been on birth control up until this point, it matters for me to be in a stable position to be able to welcome in a new baby. That was my choice, right?”

Jitoria Hunter works with the nonprofit Converge which focuses on sexual reproductive health care.

“At this current moment, we do always want to urge everyone and make sure that the public knows that you still have the right to the full FDA-approved list of contraceptives.”

But the potential for restrictions is why Rep. Zakiya Summers is announcing her plans to file a Right to Contraception Act next legislative session.

“Contraception allows the freedom to exercise choice in planning and spacing out pregnancies, which not only cultivates family stability but also ensures that parents can provide their children with the necessary care they need,” noted Summers. “In addition, contraception plays a critical role in fostering economic stability for families, enabling them to pursue educational opportunities into the workforce and strive for career advancement.”

We asked the author of Mississippi’s trigger law for his reaction and if he thinks restrictions on contraceptives are on the table for the Republicans.

“I think this is again, a very cynical ploy on behalf of very woke Democrats across the country, and now trying to infiltrate here into Mississippi saying that are very strict law,” said Sen. Joey Fillingane. “And they’re looking for exceptions. They’re looking for expansions of how to get around and an end run around if you will, to allow morning-after abortions. And that’s not what the law says.”

Sen. Joey Fillingane says he does not believe there would be any attempts to block traditional birth control methods.

We do not yet know what will be included in the definition of contraceptives in the bill and whether emergency contraceptives will be part of that list.

WLBT will watch closely as the bills are filed when lawmakers return in January.

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