Democrats in the lower chamber on Tuesday announced a plan to try to force a vote on legislation to protect access to contraception.  

Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and Rep. Kathy Manning (D-N.C.) unveiled a discharge petition on the Right to Contraception Act, a day ahead of a Senate vote on companion legislation and three weeks before the two-year anniversary of the Dobbs decision that ended the constitutional right to an abortion. 

The Senate vote is unlikely to garner the 60 votes needed to pass. Republicans blocked the same legislation last year, arguing it was written to protect abortion drugs rather than contraceptives. 

It’s all part of an election year push to focus on reproductive rights and get Republicans on the record opposing those efforts. 

“The Right to Contraception Act is common sense, and it ensures that women have safe access and affordable contraceptive care. This should be the decision for any reasonable Republicans. But they are being held hostage by the most extreme members of their caucus,” Clark said at a press conference Tuesday. “And it’s the American people who will pay the price.” 

A discharge petition requires 218 members to support it in order to force bills to be taken up. That would mean several Republicans would have to break with their party and back Democrats. Even if it falls short, Democrats will likely hammer Republicans who refuse to sign on.

When House Democrats passed a version of the same bill in 2022 when they had the majority, 195 House Republicans voted against it. 

Polling consistently shows there is broad bipartisan support for birth control. According to the annual Gallup values and beliefs poll released last year, 88 percent of Americans said birth control was morally acceptable. 

More recently, a February Impact Research poll commissioned by Americans for Contraception found contraception mobilizes voters who are currently less enthusiastic about the election, including young Hispanic and female voters and Black voters. 


Original story HERE