U.S. Rep. Jason Smith has put forward a bill to stop conservators from forcing the use of contraception without consent.
On Wednesday (July 14), Republican Congressman Jason Smith introduced the bill to stop healthcare providers from enabling conservators to push the use of birth control, inspired by events impacting Britney Spears.
“By sharing her story, Britney Spears has exposed an injustice that should not have happened. No woman should be forced to have an IUD without her consent,” Smith said in a statement. “Congress can and should put a stop to this terrible practice.”
The Conservatorships Immoral Relationship with Contraception in the United States — or CIRCUS — Act would exclude health care providers from federal health care programs if they require a conservator’s consent to remove a contraceptive device from the subject of a conservatorship or knowingly prescribe contraception to a person subject to a conservatorship without the written consent of that person, Smith’s office said.
Following numerous campaigns to free Britney from her conservatorship, the star made her first public testimony, on June 23, where she made several shocking claims about her father’s restrictions.
In one, she said her conservator has stopped her from marrying her partner Sam Asghari and from having a contraceptive intrauterine device (IUD) removed so she can get pregnant. Britney also said she had been drugged and forced to perform against her will.
Lawmakers expressed outrage as the news broke about Britney’s forced use of an IUD.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bob Casey wrote a letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra request data to gather data to illustrate how far spread the issues between guardianships and conservatorships are.
“Ms. Spears’ case has shined a light on longstanding concerns from advocates who have underscored the potential for financial and civil rights abuses of individuals placed under guardianship or conservatorship,” the senators said in a letter that was shared with Time.
“Despite these concerns, comprehensive data regarding guardianship (referred to as conservatorship in some states) in the United States are substantially lacking — hindering policymakers and advocates’ efforts to understand gaps and abuses in the system and find ways to address them.”
Sen. Ted Cruz also voiced support for the international pop singer saying what was happening to Spears is “freaking ridiculous” and “needs to end.”
On Wednesday (23 June), the pop icon appeared before Judge Brenda Penny in Los Angeles to finally call for the end of her “abusive” and “demoralising” conservatorship.
It marked Britney’s first public statement on the conservatorship following several shocking documentaries about her case and the widely-publicised #FreeBritney movement.
During the remote session, Britney – who’s been in a relationship with personal trainer Sam Asghari since 2016 – said she wants to “be able to get married and have a baby” but is unable to, because her conservator has stopped her from having a contraceptive intrauterine device (IUD) removed so she could get pregnant.
“I was told right now in the conservatorship I am not able to get married or have a baby,” said the mother of two, adding: “This so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to have children, any more children.”
Britney’s court-mandated conservatorship came to fruition following her breakdown in 2008. After she was committed to a psychiatric ward, Britney was placed under a conservatorship led by her father Jamie Spears, which means he has complete control over her estate, finances, career and other aspects of her personal life.
“I’m not lying. I just want my life back. It’s been 13 years and it’s been enough. I want to be able to be heard. I’ve kept this in for so long – it’s not good for my heart. I’ve been so angry and I cry every day. For my sanity, I need to get it off my heart. The anger, all of it. The main reason why I’m here today is I want to end the conservatorship without being evaluated,” added Britney.