***WATCH: Senators Murray, Markey, Hirono, Blumenthal, Klobuchar host press conference***
Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) announced their effort to pass the Right to Contraception Act this week in the Senate, following passage of companion legislation in the House of Representatives last week—despite nearly the entire House Republican caucus voting against the bill.
The Right to Contraception Act would codify the right to contraception, which the Supreme Court first recognized more than half a century ago in its decision in Griswold v. Connecticut. Codifying the constitutional right to obtain contraceptives would reverse actions red states have already taken to restrict access to contraception and ensure that an overturning of the Griswold decision by the far-right Supreme Court majority would not endanger access to contraceptives. On Wednesday, the senators will seek unanimous consent on the Senate floor to pass the Right to Contraception Act.
“Right now, one of the most powerful judges in the country is writing about overturning the right to contraception, Republican state legislators are working to restrict women’s ability to get the birth control of their choice, and House Republicans have voted against protecting Americans’ right to use birth control,” said Senator Murray. “Americans depend on the right to use birth control to control their own bodies and make their own decisions about when to start a family—and we must protect it. This is a basic, fundamental right—so Americans will be watching closely to see if Republican colleagues stand in our way as we work to pass the Right to Contraception Act.”
“When the far-right Supreme Court majority overruled Roe v. Wade and rolled back the constitutional right to an abortion, Justice Thomas made clear that he and his colleagues should go further in repealing fundamental and constitutional rights that Americans have had for decades,” said Senator Markey. “We must act now to prevent extremists from taking away another basic right by codifying into federal law the right to contraception.”
“For this far-right results-oriented Supreme Court and MAGA Republicans, controlling women’s bodies doesn’t just stop at forcing women to give birth, they actually want to ban contraception,” said Senator Hirono. “Everyone in this country needs to realize that nothing is off the table for MAGA Republican controlled state governments and this Court—and we need to act now to protect the right to contraception. We need to put every single Republican on the record on whether they support the right to contraception, or whether they will allow states and this Court to stop millions and millions of women from making decisions about their own health care.”
“I refuse to let my daughters grow up in a world with fewer rights than I had. As Republicans continue their march toward a nationwide abortion ban, I will do everything in my power to ensure that Illinois remains a safe haven for all women seeking reproductive care,” said Senator Duckworth. “It is as important as ever that the Senate acts to codify the right to contraception into law so that every American in every state has equal access to basic, necessary healthcare—regardless of their skin color, zip code or income—and I’m proud to join Senators Markey and Hirono in this effort.”
The Right to Contraception Act is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Women’s Law Center, National Organization for Women, Power to Decide, National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, Reproductive Health Access Project, Catholics for Choice, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, Upstream USA, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Partnership for Women & Families, Jewish Women International, Positive Women’s Network-USA, and the National Council of Jewish Women.