Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., addresses a crowd ahead of the July 20, 2022, vote on the Right to Contraception Act, which would inscribe the right to use contraceptives into law. Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The House recently passed The Right to Contraception Act protecting access to birth control. This latest move is a broader effort by Democrats to enshrine federal law rights that may come under attack. Now, the Right to Contraception Act goes to Senate; however, it will unlikely garnish the supporting votes from the ten Republicans needed to pass it. The measure creates a statutory right for people to access birth control and protect a range of contraceptive methods. It will also ensure health care providers have a right to provide contraception services to their patients.

The Vote for The Right to Contraception Act
The vote was 228-195, with eight Republicans joining the Democrats in voting in favor. In addition, all 195 “no’s” came from Republicans. The following Republican members voted in favor of the bill.

1.     Liz Cheney (WY)

2.     John Katko (NY)

3.     Adam Kinzinger (IL)

4.     Nancy Mace (SC)

5.     Fred Upton (MI)

6.     Brian Fitzpatrick (PA)

7.     Maria Salazar (FL)

8.     Anthony Gonzalez (OH)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Republicans of trying to roll back the clock for American women. She declared, “we are not going back.” She continued, “This is their moment. Clarence Thomas has made that clear, right down to the fundamentals of privacy they want to erase.” “With this passage, Democrats will make clear we will never quit in the fight against the outrageous right-wing assault on freedom.”

The White House supported the plan to protect the right to contraception. They said in a statement  that access to birth control is “essential to ensuring all people have control over personal decisions about their health, lives, and families.”

Measures to Protect All Rights After Roe v. Wade Was Overturned

Last week, the House passed bills that aim to ensure abortion access and a measure that protects same-sex and interracial marriages. Shortly after the SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas released a separate opinion urging his colleagues to reconsider other landmark decisions, including contraception rights and same-sex marriages. Although no other justice joined Thomas, the recent events prompted Democrats to fight back.

“This rallying call by Justice Thomas and the actions of extremist Republican legislators are about one thing: Control,” said Manning, the North Carolina Democrat. “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 bodies, and we will not let this happen.”

On Tuesday, the House passed a bill called the Respect for Marriage Act that would protect marriage equality by repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and providing federal protections for same-sex and interracial couples. The marriage equality legislation was passed with support from all House Democrats and 47 Republicans.