JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi lawmakers and community members gathered on Friday to unveil legislation that would protect Mississippians’ rights to contraception.

Rep. Chris Bell (D-District 65), chair of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, and Rep. Zakiya Summers (D-District 68) announced that they will file the Mississippi Right to Contraception Act in January during the 2024 Legislative Session.

They said the bill will protect and preserve Mississippians’ right to contraception, including condoms and birth control.

They cited Congress’ failure to pass the federal Right to Contraception Act in 2022 and 2023, which would have codified the right to contraception in federal law.

“All women have the right to have children, the right to not have children, and the right to nurture the children. We have in a safe and healthy environment. As a mother, I know firsthand that deciding when and how to parent aren’t easy decisions. 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’t provide their children with the necessary care they need,” said Summers.

Authors of the bill said they’ll launch a statewide ad campaign to promote the bill.