House votes to guarantee contraception access in federal law

Eight Republicans voted in support while 195 voted against the measure.

July 21, 2022, 1:31 PM

The House on Thursday passed The Right to Contraception Act that ensures access to contraception, such as birth control, to anyone who needs it -- a move coming less than a month after conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said the high court should revisit key precedents based on privacy rights found in the Constitution.

The final vote was 228-195.

The measure codifies access to contraceptives on the federal level, allowing people to obtain and use birth control while also safeguarding a health care provider's ability to supply such products.

Contraceptives protected under the legislation include oral and emergency medications, intrauterine devices and condoms.

Additionally, the bill authorizes the attorney general, health care providers and other individuals to take civil action against any states that violate the provisions of the bill.

PHOTO: In this July 21, 2022, file photo, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, D.C.
In this July 21, 2022, file photo, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, D.C.
Nathan Howard/Getty Images, FILE

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the court overturning its Roe v. Wade decision ensuring abortion rights a "slap in the face to women," adding, "Democratic women in Congress are saying we're not turning back, and we hope that we will be joined by Republican colleagues in this legislation today."

But 195 Republicans voted against the bill, many more than voted in support of codifying rights to same-sex and interracial marriage earlier this week.

Only eight Republicans voted in favor: Reps. Cheney, Fitzpatrick, Gonzalez, Katko, Kinzinger, Mace, Salazar, and Upton.

House Democrats have spent the last several days putting bills on the floor in response to the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and Justice Thomas' comments that the court should reconsider other key precedents

The House last week passed two bills related to abortion access.

It is unclear if and when any of these bills will be taken up in the Senate.

Speaking on the House floor just ahead of the vote, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, "... my three daughters are amazed that this legislation is on the floor. Amazed that there would be a premise that somehow the Constitution did not guarantee to my three daughters the right to make these decisions and not all of us."

"This is about freedom. This is about individual integrity. And this vote will show the American people where members stand on this question of whether it should continue to be legal for people in this country to pursue family planning as they perceive they want to do," he said.

ABC News' Mason Leib contributed to this report.

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