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Senate Republicans Block Bill Codifying Right To Contraception

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Senate GOPSenate Republicans on Wednesday blocked legislation guaranteeing access to contraception, calling it unnecessary and accusing proponents of the bill of staging a political stunt ahead of the November elections.

Democrats brought the bill to the floor out of fear that reproductive rights will be further threatened after the Supreme Court overturned the nationwide right to an abortion two years ago. Republican lawmakers in some states have proposed or discussed bills aimed at restricting certain types of contraception, specifically IUDs. Anti-abortion activists have also inaccurately characterized IUDs, emergency contraception and birth control pills as causing abortions.

“Today, we live in a country where not only tens of millions of women have been robbed of their reproductive freedoms. We also live in a country where tens of millions more worry about something as basic as birth control,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at a press conference. “That’s utterly medieval. It’s sickening.”

The bill, titled “The Right to Contraception Act,” would guarantee for people to obtain and use contraceptives and for health providers to prescribe contraceptives. The vote on the measure fell along party lines, short of the 60 it needed to advance. Of the Republicans, only moderate Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) voted to proceed.


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