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What Voters Are Reading: Republicans Oppose Protecting Contraception Access

Yesterday, extreme Senate Republicans blocked bipartisan legislation that would enshrine a federal right to access contraception in the wake of the GOP’s horrifying efforts to restrict reproductive health care.
Following the Dobbs decision, Republicans have been left scrambling to hide the truth that they support extreme and dangerous abortion bans as well as a state’s right to ban IVF and contraception. And despite frantic 11th hour talking points from National Republicans, this vote made clear exactly where these Republican senators and Republican Senate candidates stand – and it certainly is not with women.
Today, Americans are being reminded of this startling and damning news. See below for a glimpse into the coverage on Republicans’ opposition to contraception protections:
  • “We saw what the Supreme Court did on abortion, and now there’s a real risk they may do the same thing on contraception,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I’m really sick of this idea that the Republicans think they can say two things simultaneously — they can talk to their extremist group and say, ‘I’ll give you everything you want. We are going to ban abortion, IVF, contraception, everything you want,’ and then try to say to the rest of America, ‘Boy, we don’t want any part in that.’”
  • Democrats argue the bill is necessary because the Supreme Court cannot be trusted to uphold its precedent on protecting the use of contraceptives in the 1965 case Griswold v. Connecticut. They note that when the court invalidated federal abortion rights in 2022, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote separately that the court “should reconsider” other precedents like Griswold. And they cite a recent survey that found 1 in 5 Americans believe the right to contraception is under threat.
  • “Today was not a show vote. This was a ‘show us who you are’ vote, and Senate Republicans showed the American people exactly who they are,” Schumer said after the vote.
  • The vote is part of a larger push by Senate Democrats to draw attention to how the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has affected all aspects of reproductive health – not just abortion – as the election draws closer. Democrats are highlighting the issue this month, which marks the two-year anniversary of the high court’s ruling.
  • Democratic senators have also introduced a legislative package to establish a nationwide right to in-vitro fertilization, which is expected to come up for a vote as soon as next week.
  • That follows an Alabama state Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that the destruction of embryos could be considered “wrongful deaths.” While the state’s Legislature took action aimed at protecting IVF in the wake of the ruling, Democrats argue that this is only one example of how access to reproductive health care is under threat across the nation.
  • “In the nearly two years since the Supreme Court threw out Roe v. Wade, our nation has seen the horrific consequences of Republicans’ anti-science, anti-woman crusade that has put IVF at risk for millions of Americans who rely on it to start or grow their family,” said Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who has conceived through IVF.
  • The idea was rather straightforward: The legislation would codify in federal law American’s right to obtain and use contraceptives.
  • Even if one is inclined to disregard Justice Thomas and other critics of the Griswold precedent, the threat to Americans’ access to birth control exists far outside Democratic Party talking points.
  • It was just last month, for example, when Donald Trump surprised many by confirming — out loud, on camera, and on the record — that he was “looking at” possible restrictions on contraception.
  • What’s more, Politico reported that under the “Project 2025” blueprint, a prospective second Trump administration is likely to “require coverage of natural family planning methods and remove requirements that insurance cover certain emergency contraception.”
  • The same report added, “As part of their 2025 wish list, conservatives want to overhaul which forms of birth control insurance companies must cover for patients at no cost under the Affordable Care Act. For instance, they have drafted plans to allow insurers to drop coverage of the emergency contraceptive pill Ella, which some on the right believe is an abortifacient.”
  • Senate Republicans blocked a bill that protects access to contraception from moving forward on Wednesday afternoon.
  • Just two Republicans – Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Ak.) – voted with Democrats to move forward on the bill, but not enough to reach the 60-vote threshold to overcome the filibuster.
  • “If it’s a messaging bill, my message is I support a woman’s access to contraception. Pretty simple,” Murkowski told reporters on Wednesday before voting yes.
  • Senate Republicans are pushing the message that they support access to birth control — even after they blocked a bill to create a national right to access contraceptives and backed a measure that reproductive rights advocates say would impose new restrictions.
  • Democrats’ Right to Contraception Act was also meant to address Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurrence in the Dobbs ruling, where he argued that the court should reconsider precedents that protect birth control and same-sex marriage. (That opinion was enough of a threat to prompt Congress to successfully pass the Respect for Marriage Act in 2022, which enacted marriage equality into law.)
  • But still — if Republicans aren’t against contraception, why won’t they just vote for the bill?
  • Some experts have since worried that right could now be at risk in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022. In his concurring opinion in that case, Justice Clarence Thomas argued that Griswold should be revisited.


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