Washington (June 21, 2023) – Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security, sought unanimous consent to pass his Right to Contraception Act to protect every American’s fundamental right to use contraception, but Senate Republicans blocked the bill on the floor.

“Congress has an obligation to fulfill its duty to protect the rights of Americans – from marriage equality to civil rights and worker safety,”
said Senator Markey. “Yet, today, when I asked Republicans for the second time to stand up for the right to contraception – a policy that a vast majority of Americans support – they said no. Each and every Republican who refused to protect the right to contraception told Americans loud and clear that they’re willing to risk the health of millions of Americans for politics. It is time for them to get out of the doctor’s office and start representing the American people. As the Supreme Court and extremist Republicans hack away at our rights, we cannot and will not give up. I will continue to fight to pass the Right to Contraception Act.”  

The Right to Contraception Act would codify and strengthen the right to contraception, which the Supreme Court first recognized more than half a century ago in its Griswold v. Connecticut decision. Senator Markey and his colleagues first introduced the legislation in July 2022 in the wake of Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—which overturned Roe v. Wade—in which he urged the Supreme Court to “reconsider” its substantive due process precedents, including Griswold. Moreover, Republican lawmakers in several states across the country have placed restrictions on birth control by eliminating funding for it, defining abortion broadly enough to include contraception thereby restricting it, and allowing health care providers to deny service related to contraception based on their own beliefs.