House Passes Contraception Bill Lacking Religious Liberty Protections

On July 21, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the so-called Right to Contraception Act (H.R. 8373-Manning) by a vote of 228-195.

Like the names of many other liberal bills, the name of this bill is misleading. According to Washington Watch, the Right to Contraception Act “could stop states from banning chemical abortions, prevent regulation of abortionists’ offices, and override religious freedom protections.” The bill reportedly uses an overly broad, inaccurate definition of “contraception” that includes abortifacient drugs; it also restricts the religious freedom of pro-life medical personnel.

Furthermore, Washington Watch indicates that the Right to Contraception Act “could prevent pro-life legislators, or presidents, from denying revenue streams to abortion facilities” and would allow abortionists to sue pro-life states for damages. It seems clear that the intent behind the bill is to prevent the Protect Life Rule (a Trump administration rule that required abortion providers receiving Title X family planning funds to split their federally-funded family planning activities from their abortion activities) from being instituted by a future Republican administration.

Eight House Republicans, including retiring Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), voted for this ill-advised measure. While most Republicans in the U.S. Senate are unlikely to support a pro-abortion measure, it is possible that the name of the bill could conceal the true impact of the bill and trick some senators into supporting it.