The House Democrats have leveled their response to the overturning Roe v Wade, by passing a new bill that would create a federal right to access contraception — including medication to induce abortion.
The House voted 228-195 largely along party lines on Thursday to pass The Right To Contraception Act, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Manning, D-N.C., NBC News reports. It passed after limited debate and no amendments, Fox News reports.
The proposed law would also establish a right for healthcare providers to provide contraceptives. The Justice Department and entities harmed by contraception restrictions could seek enforcement of the right in court, under the bill.
Contraceptives are defined in the bill as “any drug, device, or biological product intended for use in the prevention of pregnancy.” This includes oral contraceptives, long-acting reversible contraceptives, emergency contraceptives, internal and external condoms, injectables, vaginal barrier methods, transdermal patches, vaginal rings, and other contraceptives.
The bill is a response to Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in the ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, which sent abortion regulation back to state legislatures. He wrote that the Supreme Court should also revisit and “correct the error” it made on decisions like 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut, which prohibited states from banning contraceptives.
Florida Democrat Rep. Kathy Castor said the US is facing “a perilous time, where an extremist Supreme Court and the GOP are rolling back our rights.”
Rep. Ann Kuste said the Roe v Wade decision was a “wake-up call” and that Congress can’t leave contraception rights “up to chance.”
Liz Cheney, Brian Fitzpatrick, Anthony Gonzalez, John Katko, Adam Kinzinger, Nancy Mace, Maria Salazar, and Fred Upton were the eight Republicans to vote with all 220 Democrats on the bill.
“Democrats are spreading fear and misinformation to score political points,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
The bill heads to the Senate where it’s unlikely the measure will have the 60 votes required to break a probable Republican filibuster.
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