A: As of now your legal right to birth control — including intrauterine devices (IUDs), birth control pills, and Plan B — is still protected by federal law in all 50 states though several states allow doctors and pharmacists to refuse to prescribe or dispense contraceptives.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe, there has been a lot of anxiety over the future of legal rights to birth control. A 1965 Supreme Court case, Griswold v. Connecticut, protects the legal right to birth control. That law still stands.
*Your Legal Right to Birth Control*
Nearly every sexually experienced person in the United States has used at least one form of contraception. And most Americans support the right to birth control. But while birth control remains a popular right, in many states efforts to shut down clinics and to pass restrictive legislation to some forms of contraception have made it more difficult to get birth control, especially for teens and low-income women.
With uncertainty hanging in the air, it is important to think carefully about your birth control needs and choose a method that best serves you. Some questions you might ask yourself: Am I planning to start a family soon or do I want to wait? Have I completed my family but not yet ready to choose a permanent method? Do I need protection from sexually transmitted diseases?
Learn about your options and plan accordingly. It is important to understand that there are no perfect methods, and even with perfect use, methods like the pill will sometimes fail. If you live in a state that bans or restricts abortion, and you know you do not want to be pregnant, you may want to consider a longer-term method with high reliability such as an IUD or sterilization. If you are using a good but less reliable method, you may want to double up by using condoms, or stock up on emergency contraception, so you have it when needed.
Many birth control methods are now available online and can be sent directly to your home. Emergency contraception is available online or over the counter without a prescription in pharmacies. To learn more about options and your right to access abortion in case of unintended pregnancy, see below for more information.
Talk to your provider if you need guidance to learn which method might be best for you. You can also check out our earlier post on birth control methods [see the end of this post].
This is part two of Know Your Reproductive Rights. For part one, Know Your Rights to Abortion, see our 10/31/22 post on unplanned pregnancy options.