House Passes Contraceptive Rights Bill

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., makes a point during an event with Democratic women House members and advocates for reproductive freedom ahead of the vote on the Right to Contraception Act, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 20, 2022. She is flanked by Rep. Kathy Manning, D-N.C., and Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill. Democrats are pushing legislation through the House that would inscribe the right to use contraceptives into law. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., makes a point during an event with Democratic women House members and advocates for reproductive freedom ahead of the vote on the Right to Contraception Act, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 20, 2022. She is flanked by Rep. Kathy Manning, D-N.C., and Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill. Democrats are pushing legislation through the House that would inscribe the right to use contraceptives into law. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The House passed the Right to Contraception Act. In a 228-to-195 vote Thursday, lawmakers passed legislation that guarantees the federal right to contraception. Eight Republicans voted in favor of the bill, including Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) , Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.). Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) took no position on the bill.

The measure aims to protect a person’s ability to access contraceptives and engage in contraception and also protects healthcare providers. This comes after the Supreme Courts’ Roe v. Wade reversal and Justice Clarence Thomas said the court should revisit other decisions such as Griswold vs. Connecticut, which allows access to contraception.

“The Supreme Court’s decision was a direct attack on abortion and Americans are now justifiably scared about the future of birth control,” stated Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.). “Republicans across this country will continue their extreme assault on basic freedoms and Justice Thomas made it clear that the Supreme Court will do nothing to protect our fundamental rights from these coordinated attacks.”

Republicans, on the other hand, said the push from Democrats is unnecessary. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said contraception likely needs protection from Congress rather than by Congress, adding “if there is any entity you don’t want involved” in contraception choices “it’s the federal government.”

Others claim it’s just another pointless bill to entice fear and rile up voters before the midterms. Meanwhile, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) said it could be dangerous.

“The kindest thing I can say about this legislation is that it is duplicative and unnecessary,” he stated. “But unfortunately, it can also be damaging. Contraception is so broadly defined that it could guarantee access to medical abortion pills or even contraceptives that might not have FDA approval.”

This came shortly after the House passed a bill codifying gay marriage nationwide. It’s unclear whether both legislations will make it to President Joe Biden’s desk.

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