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House passes bill to protect right to contraception

On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Right to Contraception Act

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Rep. Kathy Manning accepts applause as author of the Right to Contraception Act during an event with Democratic women House members.

Rep. Kathy Manning, D-N.C., center, accepts applause as author of the Right to Contraception Act, as she is recognized by, from left, Rep. Sara Jacobs, D-Calif., Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., during an event with Democratic women House members ahead of the vote on the at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

The U.S. House passed a measure that would inscribe the right to use contraceptives into law, after voting to protect the right to same-sex marriage earlier this week.

Driving the news: The Right to Contraception Act, HR8373, would “protect a person’s ability to access contraceptives and to engage in contraception, and to protect a health care provider’s ability to provide contraceptives, contraception and information related to contraception,” as Lois Collins reported for the Deseret News.

Between the lines: The bills to protect the rights to contraception and same-sex marriage are both a result of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In a concurring opinion to the ruling, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said that the court should reconsider cases that involve reproductive, LGBTQ+ and same-sex marriage rights.

His opinion referenced three major rulings:

  • Griswold v. Connecticut: Decided in 1965, this ruling gave married couples the right to contraception without government interference.
  • Lawrence v. Texas: A 2003 ruling that invalidated sodomy laws that ban same-sex sexual activity.
  • Obergefell v. Hodges: A landmark ruling in 2015 that granted same-sex couples the right to marriage. 

What they’re saying: “This extremism is about one thing: control of women. We will not let this happen,” said Rep. Kathy Manning, D-N.C., one of the nearly 150 Democratic sponsors of the bill, per The Washington Post.

Only eight Republicans voted in support of the bill, per NBC News.

“Democrats are spreading fear and misinformation to score political points,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wa., who is on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

What’s next: As Collins reported, the fate of this bill lies in the hands of the evenly split Senate, with at least 10 Republicans required to defeat the filibuster.

Meanwhile, Sens. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Mazie Hiron, D-Hawaii, and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., introduced a Senate version of the bill on Tuesday.