House Democrats Pass Contraception Rights Bill
The House passed a bill on Thursday that federally protects access to contraception as a preemptive measure following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. Just eight Republicans joined all Democrats in voting for the bill.
The Senate will now vote on the Right to Contraception Act, but it will likely stall there as it is unlikely to garner the 10 Republican votes needed to avoid the filibuster in the evenly split Senate. It was nearly unanimously opposed by House Republicans, with only eight voting in favor of the proposed law.
If passed, the bill would ensure access to birth control and protect the right of health care providers to provide contraception to patients.
“This rallying call by Justice Thomas and the actions of extremist Republican legislators are about one thing: Control,” said one of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Kathy Manning (D-North Carolina) at a press conference on Wednesday. “These extremists are working to take away the rights of women, to take away our right to decide when to have children, to take away our right to control our own lives and our own bodies, and we will not let this happen.”
“We are not willing to play defense on this critically important issue,” she added. “We are playing offense.”
While some Republicans have voiced support for contraception, they refused to vote in favor of the bill since the matter is closely tied to abortion and specifically pills that induce abortion.
The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, which had federally protected the right to abortion for nearly 50 years, has sparked fear that other rights such as same-sex marriage could be overturned by the conservative court. The Democrat-majority House is scrambling to protect those rights before the midterm elections.