In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade — and Justice Clarence Thomas’ comments on revisiting contraception and same-sex marriage rights — lawmakers are pushing to codify potentially at-risk legislation. U.S. House Representatives passed the Right to Contraception Act on Thursday, July 21, but a staggering 195 House Republicans voted against the bill.
Those who voted against the bill to solidify Americans’ right to contraception options at a federal level weren’t enough to stall it in the House, but the Senate will likely be a different story due to the filibuster.
The Right to Contraception Act: A rundown
In the draft Right to Contraception Act, lawmakers state, “A person has a statutory right under this Act to obtain contraceptives and to engage in contraception, and a healthcare provider has a corresponding right to provide contraceptives, contraception, and information related to contraception.” The act goes on to limit a state’s ability to interfere with this through its own legislation.
Without a federal protection, emergency contraception like Plan B and Ella pills could be at the most pressing risk due to the fact that they intercept pregnancy after sex. However, other birth control, such as daily oral contraceptives or internal solutions like Mirena, could also be at risk at the state level. The right to contraception for unmarried individuals passed via Eisenstadt v. Baird in 1972, the same year the Supreme Court passed Roe v. Wade. With Roe v. Wade overturned, the high court could easily overturn adjacent decisions.
Birth control is healthcare and treats conditions including premenstrual dysphoric disorder, anemia, endometriosis, adenomyosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and more.
Here are details about some of the House members who voted against contraception rights.
Of the total 213 Republicans in the House, only eight voted for the bill that could protect contraceptive healthcare at a federal level. Meanwhile, 195 of the Republicans voted against the bill, and the rest refrained.
Some representatives in the “no” group include:
Matt Gaetz (Fla.), who wrote on Twitter, “I support contraception. I’ll be voting NO on the ‘contraception bill’ today. Contraception likely needs protection FROM Congress more than it needs protection BY Congress. If there is any entity you don’t want involved in your contraception choices - it’s the federal gov.”
Paul Gosar (Ariz.), who said in a 2014 press release in response to former President Obama’s employee healthcare contraception mandate, “A business owner who believes that paying for contraceptives that can potentially put an end to human life is immoral shouldn’t be forced to do so.”
Jack Bergman (Mich.), one of five Michigan House members to vote against the federally codified right to contraception.
Mayra Flores (Tex.), who is outspoken about her pro-life stance, which seeps into the contraception converstation.
Meanwhile, Republican Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), Brian Fitzpatrick of (Penn.), Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), and five others joined Democrats by voting in favor of codified contraceptive rights.