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Bill to guarantee access to contraception fails in the Senate

The Right to Contraception Act aimed to establish federal protections for access to contraception and to protect health care providers.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on the Senate floor
Posted at 6:26 PM, Jun 05, 2024

A bill considered by lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday would have guaranteed access to contraceptives across the country, but it failed in the Senate. The bill, championed by Democrats, won a 51-39 majority, but fell short of the 60 votes needed for it to pass.

The Right to Contraception Act would have solidified access to birth control at the federal level, in an effort to prevent states from blocking health care providers from prescribing pill-based contraceptives. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the vote earlier this week in an effort to protect providers of contraceptives, like doctors and nurses, and those who provide information related to contraception.

Birth control pills

Women's Issues

Why is access to birth control controversial?

Stephanie Liebergen
1:19 PM, Jun 05, 2024

The bill's language in its latest form says, “The right to contraception is a fundamental right, central to a person’s privacy, health, wellbeing, dignity, liberty, equality, and ability to participate in the social and economic life of the Nation."

The vote took place just weeks before the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24.

The 2022 ruling rolled back federal abortion rights, expanding abilities for states to limit or outlaw abortions. The issue has become key for Democrats this presidential election year as GOP candidate and former President Donald Trump takes credit for the Supreme Court’s decision.

Currently, there are 14 states with bans on abortion at all stages of pregnancy, with limited exceptions for things like rape and incest.

If the Right to Contraception Act had passed, it would have prohibited the federal government or any state from “administering, implementing or enforcing any law, rule, regulation, standard or other provision that would prohibit or restrict the sale, provision, or use of contraception.”