U.S. House Passes Bill to Guarantee Access to Contraception in Federal Law

The United States House of Representatives passed on July 21 a bill to guarantee access to contraception to anyone who needs it.

The House passed The Right to Contraception Act in a final vote of 228 to 195.

The bill would establish a right in federal law for individuals to obtain and use contraceptives and would also affirm a right for health care providers to supply such products.

The bill also authorizes the Justice Department, healthcare providers, and other individuals to take civil action against any state that violates the provisions of the bill.

The move is one of the steps that House Democrats are trying to take following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling that granted abortion rights.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion in the ruling that the Supreme Court should also reconsider other key precedents, including the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut, which prohibited states from banning contraceptives.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor that it was “outrageous that — nearly 60 years after Griswold was decided — women must once again fight for fundamental freedom to determine the size and timing of their families.”

“This is a matter of women’s health: to prevent unintended pregnancies and to treat or prevent many medical conditions,” Pelosi said, adding that it was also a matter of economic justice and “fundamental freedom to make their own decisions about your own body and own life.”

The bill now heads to the Senate, but it is unclear if it will get the 60 votes required to break a likely Republican filibuster.

Senators Ed Markey, Mazie Hirono, and Tammy Duckworth introduced a companion version of the bill in Senate.

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