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The Republican war on contraception is already here


The impact of overruling Roe v. Wade on other reproductive rights will be immediate, not some theoretical problem to worry about down the road:

For more than half a century, Tri-Rivers Family Planning has operated on a shoestring budget, providing contraceptives, pregnancy testing, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and other reproductive health care to a mostly low-income and female clientele in the Ozark Mountains.

The clinic has never performed abortions. But with the Supreme Court widely expected to revoke the constitutional right to abortion that it established in Roe v. Wade, its work has never been more essential — and its nurse practitioners and patients have never felt more threatened.

Last year, the Republican-led Missouri Senate voted to ban taxpayer funding for two common methods of preventing pregnancy: intrauterine devices and emergency contraception — the so-called morning-after pill, also known as Plan B — which many abortion opponents regard as “abortifacients” because they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus. Lawmakers later abandoned the effort, but some have indicated that if Roe falls, they may try again.

Whether there will be a Supreme Court decision formally overruling Griswold v. Connecticut is not the most important question. If you can ban commonly used contraceptives by labeling them “abortifacients,” the effect is the same. Needless to say, blocking access to Plan B while banning abortion is a particularly cruel bit of misogyny.

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