Senator Ernst objects to passage of Senators Markey, Murray, Hirono, and Duckworth’s Right to Contraception Act following passage in the House 

Washington (July 27, 2022) – Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) sought unanimous consent to pass the Right to Contraception Act to protect every American’s fundamental right to use birth control—but Republican Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) blocked the legislation. Senator Markey, along with Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), Senators Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), pushed to quickly pass their legislation following passage of companion legislation in the House of Representatives last week—despite nearly the entire House Republican conference voting against the bill.

  “Today, Republicans showed the American people where they stand: no abortions, and no birth control to prevent the need for one. The right-wing extremists in the United States Senate and on the Supreme Court are way out of touch with the vast majority of the American people, and yet they still want to tell them what to do with their bodies and their lives,” said Senator Markey. “While Republicans refuse to protect our fundamental rights as the Supreme Court and right-wing state legislatures take them away, my Democratic colleagues and I will continue our efforts to keep in place the fundamental, privacy-based rights that Americans have had for decades, and codify into federal law the right to contraception.”

“It has been nearly sixty years since the Supreme Court decided Griswold v. Connecticut—and affirmed Americans’ right to privacy and with it: their right to contraception. So you’d think this would be a settled issue. And for the vast majority of Americans—it is,” said Senator Murray. “Yet, as we just saw, somehow—in the year 2022—this isn’t a settled issue for Republican politicians.”

The Right to Contraception Act would protect the right to contraception, which the Supreme Court first recognized in 1965, but is now threatened—with Justice Clarence Thomas opining that the Supreme Court should revisit the decision, Republican lawmakers in states across the country eyeing restrictions on birth control, and Republicans in Congress blocking commonsense legislation to enshrine the right to use birth control into federal law.

Read full text of the legislation here.