One said the proposal, which passed anyway, was actually a “Trojan horse” for abortions.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to abolish the federal right to reproductive health care, congressional Democrats continued their ongoing push to codify a number of personal rights into law this week, passing a sweeping measure to ensure federal access to contraceptives and related services.
H.R.8373, the “Right to Contraceptives Act”, was voted through the House on Thursday, with just eight Republicans crossing the aisle to join all 220 Democrats for a final count of 228 supporting to 195 against. Yes, nearly the entire House Republican Caucus voted against a federal right to condoms, and other birth control measures, in case you were wondering what other new and exciting (or rather, old and horrifying) ways conservatives could find to stick their, er, noses into other people’s, um, business.
Per North Carolina Democratic Rep. Kathy Manning, who sponsored and introduced the bill earlier this month, the Right to Contraceptives Act’s impact is four-fold. According to her office, it will:
-Create a statutory right for people to obtain contraceptives and engage in contraception;
-Establish a corresponding right for health care providers to provide contraceptives and information related to contraception;
-Allow the Department of Justice, as well as providers and individuals harmed by restrictions on contraception access made unlawful under the legislation, to go to court to enforce these rights; and
-Protect a range of contraceptive methods, devices, and medications used to prevent pregnancy, including but not limited to oral contraceptives, emergency contraceptives, and intrauterine devices.
In other words, the bill would basically create a federal law to protect most of the safe sex practices you were hopefully taught in high school. This, perhaps unsurprisingly, is evidently anathema to conservatives (a group that incidentally isn’t all that keen on most things being taught in most schools to begin with), who lined up almost unanimously to say “sorry folks, what you do with your genitals is, once again, our business.”
Paradoxically, some of the Republican opposition to protecting contraceptive access seemed to stem from the belief that the bill — which would ensure people can’t be stopped from using birth control, so they don’t get pregnant — would lead to more abortions after people, uh, get pregnant? Washington Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers went so far as to describe the bill as a “Trojan horse” for increased abortions (a pretty funny analogy when you think about it) because it could direct funds toward Planned Parenthood clinics, which also might provide other reproductive health care services.
“Rather than work with us, Democrats again are spreading fear and misinformation to score political points,” she told The New York Times.
Like the Democrats’ recently passed “Respect for Marriage Act,” which enjoyed the support of several dozen House Republicans, the contraceptive bill now heads toward a decidedly inhospitable Senate, where Democrats will almost certainly struggle to find the double-digit Republicans necessary to ensure passage. Without their support, Republicans hope that the contraceptive bill will be prevented from developing into a law.
If only there were some kind of analogy here? Oh well!