Members of the US Senate will vote on whether they support access to contraception

WASHINGTON – Next month, U.S. senators will be asked whether they support Democratic legislation to guarantee access to contraception – a right currently upheld in two Supreme Court cases, but one singled out by the conservative justice.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, announced Wednesday that the chamber would vote on the bill Bill in June, saying it would assist strengthen women’s reproductive rights at a crucial time. Sixty votes are needed for the bill to advance.

“Now, more than ever, contraception is a critical part of protecting women’s reproductive freedoms,” Schumer said.

A move to hold a procedural vote on the legislation it has 49 co-sponsorscame just a day after Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, announced that his campaign would release a policy on contraception next week.

Trump signals he’s open to state restrictions on access to contraceptives, then insists he’s not

Trump appeared open to state restrictions on contraception, although he later backtracked on the comments on social media.

“We’re looking at it and I’ll be developing a policy on it soon and I think you’ll find it interesting,” Trump said on KDKA in Pittsburgh. “This is another very interesting issue. But you will find that it is very wise. I think this is a wise decision, but we will publish it soon.”

Trump was asked if he supported “any restrictions on the human right to contraception.”

Trump later said that “things really have a lot to do with the states. And some states will have different policies than others. The comment came after Trump was asked if he “might support some restrictions, like the morning-after pill or something?”

In Congress

House approved the bill similar to July 2022 Senate legislation sponsored by North Carolina Democratic Rep. Kathy Manning. The House was then controlled by Democrats.

This document defines contraception as “action taken to prevent pregnancy, including the use of contraceptives or fertility awareness methods and sterilization procedures.”

Democrats in the Senate tried to pass that same month, they introduced their version of the so-called Right to Birth Control Act, but Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst blocked the unanimous consent bill.

Unanimous consent is the fastest way to approve legislation in the Senate, but it allows any lawmaker to block passage. Voting is not recorded during this process, but a procedural vote will take place next month.

If the bill receives 60 votes, it will proceed to a vote by a uncomplicated majority.

Democrats tried to enact statutory protection for contraception two years ago in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling, which struck down a constitutional right to abortion. This right was established in the 1973 Roe v. Wade case and affirmed in the 1992 Casey v. Planned Parenthood ruling.

In opposition opinion in Dobbs, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the justices should “reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents,” which were based on the same legal thinking about the right to privacy that the justices cited in Roe and Casey.

Thomas specifically mentioned Griswold v. Connecticut, Obergefell v. Hodges, and Lawrence v. Texas.

Griswold was 1965 thing where the Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut law that prohibited married couples from using contraception.

The Supreme Court ruled that “the right to privacy can be inferred from several amendments to the Bill of Rights, and this right prevents states from criminalizing the use of contraception by married couples.”

These rights were extended to unmarried people in the 1972 case of Eisenstadt v. Baird ruling.

Kaiser Family Foundation survey, released in March shows that 45% of adults said they believed access to contraception is a “safe right that is likely to remain the same.”

An additional 21% responded that they believed it was “an endangered right that could be invalidated.” A total of 34% of respondents said they were unsure.

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