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The United States House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill enshrining in federal law the right to contraception, including drugs used to induce abortion, with the support of eight Republicans.
In a vote of 228 to 195, lawmakers passed the Right to Contraception Act after limited debate and no amendments. The legislation, largely a courier bill unlikely to pass the Senate 50-50, would create a federal right to obtain contraception.
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Overall, eight Republicans voted with each Democrat to support the bill: Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Fred Upton of Michigan, Nancy Mace of South Carolina, John Katko from New York, Adam Kinzinger from Illinois and Maria Salazar from Florida.
Republican Representatives Bob Gibbs and Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania voted in attendance.
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The vote came in response to the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. In its decision to return abortion to the states, the Supreme Court ruled that there was no federal right to abortion.
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas went further by writing a concurring opinion this suggested the court should revisit other rulings, including same-sex marriage and access to contraception. Opinion has unleashed a storm on the left, with Democrats saying the nation’s highest court is preparing to overturn one precedent after another.
From that concern came the legislation, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“With this passage, Democrats will be clear,” said Pelosi, D-Calif. “We will never give up the fight against the right wing’s outrageous assault on freedom.”
House Republicans called the bill a political gimmick designed to spur Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.
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“If we allow the majority to undermine constitutional guarantees for an imaginary and false emergency, it will create other imaginary emergencies in the future to violate and undermine our constitutional principles,” said Rep. Claudia Tenney, RN.Y.