If you were a Republican who wanted to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies that might result in abortion, you’d theoretically be in favor of guaranteeing people’s access to birth control, right?
Welp. On Thursday, 195 House Republicans voted against the Right to Contraception Act (HR 8373), a bill that would create a legal right to obtain and use all Food and Drug Administration-approved forms of contraception. (That includes the birth control pill, patch, and ring, plus intrauterine devices, emergency contraceptives like the morning-after pill, and tubal ligation.) HR 8373 also establishes a right for health care providers to provide said contraception to their patients. The bill is unfortunately necessary, since the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade not only lets states ban abortion, but also threatens other sexual privacy rights, including the right to use emergency contraception and other forms of birth control. Justice Clarence Thomas literally called for the court to attack birth control—and marriage equality—next.
The final vote was 228 to 195, with an additional two members of Congress simply voting “present”—that is, a coward’s no. Just eight Republicans voted for the bill and, coincidentally, six of those eight are either retiring or are already pariahs in the party.
It sure seems like the current Republican position is to ban abortion and do nothing to ensure that people can get birth control. Hard to see this as anything other than a forced-birth agenda intended to keep women and pregnancy-capable people at home and out of sight and under the control of cisgender men.
For some context, last week, the House voted on two abortion-related bills, the Women’s Health Protection Act (a bill to codify Roe) and the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act (a bill to protect traveling abortion-seekers), which garnered 209 and 205 Republican no votes, respectively. A bill to protect motherfucking BIRTH CONTROL got almost as many Republican “nays” as those bills.
The Supreme Court established the right for married couples to use contraception in 1965 and single people in 1972. What are we doing here?