Opinion: Arizona needs to protect access to contraception

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File

By Lori Ament

March 22, 2024

“Without Roe, access to contraception is needed more than ever, and protecting that access shouldn’t even be a question,” Gilbert residnet Lori Ament writes in an op-ed.

Governor Katie Hobbs said it herself – protecting access to contraception is a “common sense” idea. That didn’t stop Republicans in the Arizona House and Senate from blocking a vote, or even a debate, on a proposal that would protect the right to contraceptives as law. 

After the overturning of Roe v. Wade, I felt fearful. It felt like the start of a rapid backsliding of individual freedoms, especially for women, led by an extremist US Supreme Court. And as the Alabama Supreme Court’s recent decision to grant personhood rights to frozen embryos needed for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment proved, even the ability to obtain necessary fertility care is at risk. 

Our children can no longer be sure that the freedoms I have enjoyed will be available to them, and that terrifies me. Political and judicial decisions are no longer being made with the goal of doing what’s in the best interest of the people. Instead, they are focused on advancing a radical ideological agenda. 

Without Roe, access to contraception is needed more than ever, and protecting that access shouldn’t even be a question. It’s been shown time and time again that Arizonans support access to contraception, and anyone who knows anything about IVF care knows that it often requires the use of contraception to facilitate treatment.

Our state lawmakers have a duty to represent us. The ongoing challenges of our time underscore the urgency of why they must take action, but instead, they seem to be making decisions based on their personal politics, ignoring those of us who elected them. 

Republicans want to let their own extreme personal beliefs dictate how they legislate, even when they are out of touch with the American people. When asked if he would oppose future efforts to restrict access to emergency contraception, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, Sonny Borrelli, stated, “Like I said, Bayer Company invented aspirin. Put it between your knees.” This seemed to be Sen. Borrelli’s convoluted and bizarre way of implying that women wouldn’t need contraceptives if they weren’t so promiscuous.  

Sen. Borrelli and other Republicans have defended their choice to not even debate the protection of contraceptives by saying it’s unnecessary because “nobody’s opposing.” If nobody is opposing contraceptives, then enshrining the right to access them into Arizona law should be an easy pass. 

Republicans in Congress say that protecting the right to contraception should be a state issue. Republicans in Arizona’s legislature say that protecting the right to contraception is unnecessary. They’re both showing us that they are willing to put our individual freedoms on the chopping block to force their personal views on us all.

 

VIDEO: Arizona State Sen. Eva Burch shares her intention to get abortion during floor speech

Author

  • Lori Ament

    Lori Ament lives in Gilbert, Arizona, with her son and works as a managing director for three veterinary practices. Lori is a passionate advocate for reproductive rights and expanding access to paid maternity/paternity leave in the US.

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