Democrats want to force Senate GOP to vote on contraception

May 22, 2024

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Wednesday the Senate will vote next month on legislation to protect women’s access to contraception, setting up a campaign issue for the fall.

Democrats expect Republicans to block the bill, just as they have blocked legislation protecting access to in vitro fertilization, which Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) said included “poison pills.”

Schumer announced that the Senate has begun the process to consider the Right to Contraception Act, which would codify the right to contraception established by the landmark Supreme Court decision in Griswold v. Connecticut.

Democrats say that right is now at risk because of the conservative majority’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the right to abortion established by Roe v. Wade.

“Now more than ever, contraception is a critical piece of protecting women’s reproductive freedoms, standing as nothing short of a vital lifeline for millions of American women across the country,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.

“Senate Democrats are committed to restoring women’s freedoms and will fight to protect access to contraception and other reproductive freedoms that are essential safeguards for millions of women to control their own lives, their futures, and their bodies,” he said.

Senate Democrats plan to make women’s access to health care, including abortion rights, a top issue in the 2024 campaign.

Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) are the lead sponsors of the Right to Contraception Act.

“The right to contraception is the right to essential health care, yet extremist judges and radical Republicans continue to threaten access for millions of Americans. We cannot stand by as extremists continue to undo decades of precedent and progress,” Markey said in a statement when he introduced the legislation last year.