House passes bill codifying right to contraception

Nancy Pelosi.
(Image credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The House on Thursday passed legislation enshrining the right to contraception nationwide, in hopes of protecting the issue from future Supreme Court decisions a la Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

Named The Right to Contraception Act, the bill would establish federal protections for those in need of and those who provide contraceptives, as well as "allow the Justice Department and entities harmed by contraception restrictions to seek enforcement of the right in court," NBC News writes. Eight Republicans — including Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming — voted alongside all 220 Democrats.

The push to codify the right to contraception into law arrives following similar votes regarding the right to an abortion and the right to same-sex and interracial marriage. Despite clearing the House, all three measures now face long odds in the Senate (though the Respect for Marriage Act might actually pull it off).

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After Justice Clarence Thomas suggested in his concurring Dobbs opinion that other federal protections widely considered settled law be revisited, Congressional Democrats have moved to enshrine such policies in legislation. The votes also act as a "final argument" ahead of midterms, in which Democrats hope to "draw a sharp contrast with the GOP by painting the party as extreme on social issues that are broadly popular with voters," writes The Washington Post.

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