House passes bill to codify right to contraception
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is working to ensure the rights Justice Clarence Thomas has stated the Supreme Court decided in “error,” and should be “corrected,” are protected by federal legislation before the Court strikes down the rulings that made them the law of the land – as it did when it removed abortion as a constitutional right last month.
On Thursday the House passed H.R. 8373, the Right to Contraception Act, protecting the right to access and use contraception. The vote was 228-195.
Every “no” vote came from Republicans. Just eight Republicans crossed the aisle to join Democrats in voting “yes.” (Full roll call vote list here.)
One of the many House Republicans on Thursday arguing against the Right to Contraception Act, Rep. Kat Cammack, claimed it would “allow more abortions to occur and kill our children,” which is the direct opposite of what contraception actually does.
“This bill, the right to deception act,” the Florida Republican labeled the legislation, “is looking to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.”
“Y’all are a piece of work,” she declared.
Democrats in the House this week also passed legislation that would protect existing same-sex marriages at the state and federal level. The Respect for Marriage Act, like the Right to Contraception Act, passed by a 267-157 margin, with every “no” vote being cast by a Republican.
The marriage bill, which may actually pass the Senate by a slim margin, does not make same-sex marriage the law of the land. It allows states to ban same-sex marriage but requires them to recognize ones that are legally performed in other jurisdictions.
The third right Justice Thomas targeted is same-sex intimate relations, which the Court recognized as constitutional in its landmark 2003 decision, Lawrence v. Texas. No bill has been put forth yet to protect that right.
Some Republicans, like Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida, have told reporters there’s no need to pass laws protecting those rights, largely claiming they are not in danger, despite Justice Thomas’ direct entreaty for the Court to act.
“Justice Clarence Thomas,” The New York Times reported last month, “in his concurring opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, laid out a vision that prompted concerns about what other rights could disappear: The same rationale that the Supreme Court used to declare there was no right to abortion, he said, should also be used to overturn cases establishing rights to contraception, same-sex consensual relations and same-sex marriage.”
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