tv U.S. Senate Senate Democrats on Access to Contraceptives CSPAN July 27, 2022 8:09pm-9:01pm EDT
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were turned away by republicans. here's part of that debate. >> a group of us will be speaking and asking for unanimous consent on a measure called the right to contraception act. it is called the right to contraceptive act because it guarantees the right to contraception. if you had asked me a year ago, six months ago, would we need a right to contraception act? i would have thought not in my lifetime. the fact is we live now in the post- roe era. it is a unique moment in our nation's history. not just because the supreme court has overturned roe v wade
in the recent decision, but because for the first time in our history we are rolling back rates. the history of our great country. the greatest in the history of the world is that we advance, and expand rights. from the time of our founding, tradition of america is that we increase rights and liberties that are protected from governmental interference. and now with dobbs, one of the court freedoms, the right to decide when and where to have children has been stripped from women and given to government
officials. but it is not only reproductive rights under row. because theig united states supreme court has very carefully and deliberately sent signals about where it is going. in this rollback of rights and liberties. and it isn't just clarence thomas' concurring opinion, which now has become infamous for its signal. it is the opinion of the court itself that clearly shows this court threatens not only abortion-rights, but also contraception right. and in addition to mentioning griswold versus connecticut, clarence thomas also i should
say justice thomas with all due respect, mentioned loving, lawrence, berger felt all on the chopping block. all of those rights on this supreme court's hit list. and perhaps the most deeply rooted of them all and griswold versus connecticut, the right to contraception. let's be clear the right to contraception wasn't stated in the constitution. but the right to privacy is at its core, do not tread on me. the right to be let alone, that is the reason we have the bill of rights. that is the reason why the founders rebelled against england. unjustified interference in their personal lives. to the right to privacy is
referred to often. it's actually at the core of the constitution is so fundamental to the mindset, and the mantra of those constitutional guarantees. for the very founding of our republic of the respect for thel right of privacy should be by partisan. indeed has been bipartisan throughout our history. the simple fact is, that the most important decision any of us make at least in my view is whether to become a parent. it ought to be a decision, not something that just happens. it should be a decision that is made deliberately. every american should have that right to decide when and whether
to have children and politicians should not be the ones to make it. they should not be allowed to infringe or interfere on that decision. women cannot be truly equal if they do not control their lives, their reproductive lives but they do not control their bodies. if they lose that right, they simply cannot be equal. so it is not just privacy, it is a quality that is at stake here. my republican colleagues are adamant in dragging this country back to a time when women have little or no autonomy over these choices. and i am shocked, i think many of my colleagues are, the american people as well that american women today will have fewer rights than their mothers, and even their grandmothers.
we are living through a world where healthcare providers cannot do their job and save lives without risking criminal penalties. and much of our nation will be at risk of losing these fundamental liberties. let me be clear, this should not be controversial. this issue should not be one that provokes verbal jousts on the floor of the united states senate. griswold versus connecticut, yes it is, griswold versus connecticut has held for decades. reaffirmed by the supreme court that individuals have a right to use contraception. but we have seen after assurances by three of the members not sitting on the
supreme court respect for precedent is no longer deeply felt. in fact, it may not be felt at all. what one nominee, justice kavanaugh referred to as on present therefore well-established law, that was roe versus wade. now it is gone. it was agreed justly wrong. but, none of those three nominees express any feelings whatsoever and might be wrong let alone agreed justly wrong. to all my colleagues who say the right to contraceptive act is unnecessary i would simply say look at dobbs. when i introduced, along with the presiding officer the women's health protection act in
2013 the idea that row might be overruled was unthinkable. p our goal was to prevent the growing restrictions on that right that impose excessive burden. what was unthinkable then, is reality now. the court overruling griswold might have been thought unthinkable. that danger is our present reality in the post- roe world. so i urge my colleagues, to join in approving the right to contraception act. today to provide certainty and reassurance to women across the united states, that they will have those rights where they can be sure of them, they can rely on them, they can know that
having children will be a decision they make. not somebodyls else. telling them when and whether to start families. thank you madam president and i yield the floor. exit madam president. quick center from hawaii. >> as we focus on contraception rights this afternoon, listen to some of the comments made by my republican mail colleagues. they are not going to change the law on contraception. there is zero threat of contraception being taken away pure hysteria, i have no reason to believe these are going to fail. these are some the statements made by my republican colleagues, all of them mail, by the way, have made regarding contraception. two totally hysteria they say per this is not necessary to the millions of women acrossos the country who woke up one morning in june, and no longer had a
constitutional right. when it comes this far right agenda, nothing is off the table. and nothing is pure h hysteria. last month the far rightrs majority on the supreme court overturned nearly 50 years of precedents and took away the constitutional right to get an abortion. this decision was a result of a decades long effort by far right republicans and right wing groups to pack the court with politicians and robes. they are just getting started. for thisco majority, controlling women's bodies does not stop at forcing women to give birth. they actually want to ban contraception. we know this because in his concurring opinion to overturnt
roe, justice thomas wrote that the supreme court should reconsider, reconsider the rulings that protect same relationships, marriage equality, and yes, contraception. this kind of signaling by a justice of the supreme court should be taken seriously. so, my republican colleagues say they have no reason to believe precedent will beor overturned, resorting to n magical thinking that no one should believe it. after all, the supreme court just overturned a nearly 50 year precedent that women in this countrylf relied on for nearly half a century, half a century. that is two generations. in fact, radical maggot republicans in state legislatures across the country are gearing up.
in ohio house republicans introduced a bill that would effectively ban all abortions from the moment of conception. and potentially other forms of birth control like iuds. other republicans have refused to rule out banning certain forms of contraception. we are living in a post- roe world work our rights are on the chopping block. so, no this is not pure hysteria. the americanhi public knows democrats know this, so i say to my republican colleagues, if any of you object to this bill come down to the senate floor until the american people the truth. just be honest. if you do not support guarantee the right to contraception. in this a post- roe world commie in the suggestion this court will overturn precedent is no
longer something to hide behind. but if my republican colleagues do support the right to contraception, they should haveg no problem supporting our bill which would create a statutory right for individuals to access contraception. protect the right to healthcare providers to provide contraceptives to their patients. and empower individuals by extending a private right of action against any state or government official that hinders these rights. today, my republican colleagues have a choice. do they support the right to contraception? an individual's right to make decisions about our bodies and our healthcare? or will they allow the government to tell millions and millions of women what to do? madam president, i yield the floor.
>> madam president rick cook's massachusetts. >> i thank you, madam president. legitimate stolen and radicalized united states supreme court is putting the fundamental rights of americans in jeopardy. last month that the extremists court took away the right to abortion. a right and which millions of americans have relied for almost
50 years. undermining their health, their safety, their freedom. the right wing majority overture road versus wade osa control the high court to then leader mcconnell and donald trump, and senate republicans theft of two seats on the supreme court. the justices used ill-gotten power to cast aside decades of precedent which during their confirmation hearing gave promise to honor, respect and follow. if any one thanks this newly empowered court's decision to strip america of a long-standing constitutional right will not be shamelessly repeated, they are wrong. what the supreme court adjusted with row was a preview of coming atrocities from the supreme court. justice clarence thomas wrote a concurring opinion in dobbs
versus jackson women health organization.on the decision overturning roe versus wade. that concurrence is like a movie trailer for upcoming horror film that americans are going to be forced to watch written, produced and directed by ace captured illegitimate supreme court. in his opinion justice thomas made clear he believes americans had too many privacy rights under the united states constitution. the supreme court had errored and recognizing those rights and the court should take them away as well, just as it did with the right to abortion. this bears repeating, eight sitting justice on the supreme court of the united states is arguing that americans have two many rights. what mistakes was justice thomas talking about?
well, justice thomas urge the court to correct the error of the committed when it recognize the right to same-sex marriage in his 2015 decision. he told the court to fix the mistake it made when it recognized the right of americans to engage in private consensual sexual activity in the 2003 decision in lawrence versus texas. and he said the court got it wrong when it recognize the right of americans to use contraception in his 1965 decision in griswold versus connecticut. but it is justice thomas who is in error, who is wrong, who has made a mistake. these are all fundamental privacy based rights which the supreme court correctly
recognized. they should all law of the land. today i want to talk about the right totr contraception this extremist and out of touch supreme court and legislatures in red states are taking aim at. the supreme court has recognized the constitutional right to contraception for more than half a century. since its decision in the griswold case in 1965. and over time, the court has affirmed and expanded about right. in 1972 decision, a massachusetts case recognizing the right of all people to access contraception regardless of a marital status. in his 1977 decision, and carry versus population services international, which held a state could not constitutionally prohibit the distribution of
contraception to minors. the right to contraception is therefore aed fundamental right the court has repeatedly recognized and reaffirmed. h it is a right that is central to a person's health, to their well-being, to their life, quality economic and social freedom in our country. it is a right grounded in the need and ability to make decisions about one's own body, one's own family, and one's own future. it is the right woven into the fabric of a free, pluralistic in modern society. it is a right we must codify and make part of our loss of far right extremist judges and elected officials cannot take it away in order to advance their own blatantly political agendas. that is why i've probably introduced the right to contraception act with my colleagues, sinners daisy and hirono and tammy duckworth.to
and with senator blumenthal and chair patty joined by more than half of the democratic senate caucus. the right to contraception actif would codify the supreme court's decision in griswold recognizing the right but enshrine that right in federal law it would guarantee healthcare providers right to prescribe contraceptive products, services, information to that. the bill would also protect a range of contraception's that are legally marketed under the federal food, drug and cosmetic act. in the.s right to contraception act would authorize u.s. attorney general as well as individuals and healthcare providers harmed by unlawful restrictions to go to court to enforce the rights the bill
establishes. in short, the right to contraception act would safeguard the rights established by more than 50 years of supreme court precedent and would protect access to contraception even if griswold were overturned. the concerns that have led to the introduction of this bill are not merely hypothetical. justice thomas concurring opinion was a call to action that some republicans and a red states are eagerly heeding by it to continuing to attack and to restrict the right to contraception. several states have already gone after access to contraception by itcutting off and by allowing healthcare providers to provide services related to contraception based on their own personal beliefs.
and the harms that would flow from abolishing the rights of contraception are merely theoretical. attacks on healthcare, especially reproductive health care falls hardest on historically marginalized communities. including black, indigenous, and other people of color. lgbtq people, people with disabilities, people with low incomes, those living in rural and underserved areas, and immigrants. last week we all, our side probably watch the house passed its version of the right to contraception act and though it is dismayed on the eight house republicans, only eight voted to codify that right. with the right to abortion stolen methods and contraception
that makes it more imperative than ever that we pass this legislation. we cannot wait for the next hammer to drop. we have an urgent obligation to take the first exit off the slippery slope that leads to the loss of our most important personal read him's. chief amongst them the right of every american to make their own decisions about their bodies, their family, and their own futures. we cannot sit idly by and watch asat decades of precedent, privy rights and progress are violated. we cannot wait for the worse to come because it is already at our doorstep. my antichoice republican colleagues if you can deprive americans to end a pregnancy, how could he also deprive them of the ability to prevent a pregnancy in the first place?
unless your ultimate game is to exert control over the bodies oh others. especially the bodies of women. and i expect to hear no objection to the unanimous consent request to pass the rights to contraception act. otherwise the republican position will be clear to everyone, no abortion but no birth control to prevent the need for one. that is where the republican party is today. i urge my republican colleagues not to object tort unanimous consent request. and madam president, i ask unanimous consent the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration of s4612 the senate proceed tohe its immediate consideration further the bill be considered, read a third time and passed. and that motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. >> is their objection? >> that are present, reserving
the right to object records junior senatorms from iowa per. >> reserving the right to object, madam president, here we are again. aanother day, another sympathetically titled bill offered by my democratic colleagues were theon talking points don't really give you the full story. case in point, the right to contraception act, so-called right to contraception act, purposely goes far beyond thesel scope of contraception. it includes provisions that could guarantee the funding of a abortion providers and defined contraception in such a broad way that it could include drugs to induce an abortion weeks or months into a pregnancy. this definition also could include non- fdaa approved drugs
that would actually put a woman's health at risk. the bill also flies in the face of decades of work providing for conscious protection. it would require organizations to administerep contraception's, despite their moral or religious beliefs. madam president, there's something insidious with this bill, but don't take it for me. look to the bills text itself. the findings section of this bill, notes the work of an organization that many of my colleagues will recognize. the united nations population, this is the same organization that contributed over $10 million to a mass sterilization campaign in peru
in the '90s. back campaign was ripe with coercive practices. quotas were set, cash bonuses were paid to healthcare workers for each client sterilized. and poor women were bribed with nutritional supplements and close for their children. unless i forget the formula population fund executive director high praise of china's one child policy. use contraceptive should be more easily available. and the fact that they aren't, has the biggest impact on women and rural areas were a doctor could be dozens of miles away. a woman in a rural area does not need a platitude filled apl message bill that we have here. they need over-the-counter
access to routine use birth control. luckily, republicans have a solution. my bill allowing greater access to safe and effective contraception act incentivizes manufacturers of contraceptives to file an application for over-the-counter access. it also allows priority review for these applications in ways the fda filing fee. that means cheaper, quicker, and more available access for women across this nation. with my bill, women 18 and over can walk into their local pharmacy, whether that be in sydney, iowa, or the deepest parts of manhattan and get the routine use birth control they need. madam president, when your doctor is 30 miles away and gas is $6 a gallon, you do not need a messaging bill you need
access. and therefore, i object. >> objection is heard. >> madam president. i ask unanimous consent of the senate proceed to the immediate consideration s4638 which is at the desk. further that the bill be considered read a third time and lpassed. the motion to reconsider be made and laid upon the table. >> is there objection? >> reserving the right to object to pay. >> a massachusetts. >> thank you madam president. i do reserve the right to object rethink the senator from iowa. but her bill would not ensure access to birth control. and it fails to codify the constitutional right to birth control across the united states. in fact, her bill would actually restrict access to birth contros for individuals under the age of 18 requiring a prescription.
even if the food and drug administration has approved an over-the-counter option. we cannot lose sight of the facn this bill does nothing to address the reality that for many women true axis means being able to afford birth control as well. last month i cosponsored a bill that would guarantee that ensure fully cover over-the-counter birth control without any out-of-pocket costs. no one should have to jump through ridiculous hoops or pay extra just to get the birth control which they need. not to mention this bill would do nothing to prevent states from restricting or even banning access to birth control. the reality is that republicans refused to acknowledge and that is over-the-counter option does not help patients if their states are chipping away at their rights to birth control. so, but the center from i was
objection to my unanimous consent reject requests and her counter unanimous request consent republicans have gained and made their position crystal clear. no abortion, but no birth control to prevent the need for one. republicans have just showed the american people where they stand on the right to contraception while republicans will protect our fundamental rights as the supreme court and right wing state legislatures take them away, my democratic colleagues and i will continue to make it our effort to keep in place the fundamental privacy based rights thatla americans have had for decades codify inter- federal law the right to contraception. as a result for those reasons, i object. >> objection is heard.as next madam president.
>> senior senator from p washington for. >> thank you meta president. madam president has been nearly 60 years since the supreme court decided griswold versus connecticut. and affirmed americans right to privacy. and with it, their right to contraception. so you would think this would be a settled issue. and for the vast majority of americans, it is. the right to birth control is overwhelmingly popular. it turns out people want to be able to control their own bodies and make their own decisions about starting a family. yet, as we just saw, somehow in the year 2022 this is not an issue for republican politicians. we have seen some of my republican colleagues not only block this, but tried to deny reality. try to say this isn't an issue or claim democrats are somehow wasting time. that is pretty rich because i
cannot help but remember how wed all heard from republicans saying the supreme court would not overturn roe as well. how they to claim democrats were overreacting, even as they stacked our courts with o antiabortion judges and worked for decades to chip away at abortion rights. and now, we are seeing theit nightmare we warned about become reality. women unable to control their own bodies and get the abortion care they need. a nightmare republicans tried to deny and are still trying to deny even if it happens, even if ten -year-olds are having to travel across state lines for an abortion after being raped. even as women are now being left bleeding four days, waiting for treatment for their miscarriage. so when republicans say they support the right to birth control, my issue is not simply
that i am skeptical, it is thati i know better. and let's be clear when i say i know better i don't just beat in my gut. i beat iea have heard republicas own words. i am watching their own actions. justice thomas said explicitly reconsider confirm the right to contraception. the senior senator from tennessee the griswold decision was unfounded. that alone not just talking they're already taking action. read the legislation in idaho missouri, arkansas, michigan, which would in fact outlaw plana b and iuds.
talk to women who have already gone to the pharmacy only to be denied their birth control or plan b. yes, this is already happening to people. and just last week, 195 house republicans voted against the right to contraception act. and now, today they blocked it in the senate as well. the evidence of where republicans actually stand on birth control is overwhelming. they aren't standing s for wome, they are not standing for families they are not standing for a right nearly all american support. they are simply standing in ther way. i don't think the junior senator from massachusetts, the junior senator from illinois, and the junior senator from hawaii for their work with me on the right to contraception act the republicans was blocked. i know we are all going to keep working on this. and i doing to set the record straight because so many of the arguments we have seen from republicans do not add up.
they are trying to distract from their extreme position. we won't let them. madam president, this bill is incredibly straightforward. so you simply cannot cite you support the right to birth control and then block this bill. i hope everyone will listen closely because here is what this bill actually does. it simply codifies americans right to birth control into law. that is it. you do not take my word for it, read it yourself. it's all a 15 pages. it protects a right to people depend on. and make sure no one can take that away. we are talking about a really basic and really fundamental right here. since that right was affirmed half a century ago, generations of americans have used contraception's to control their own future. to manage and treat their
healthcare needs and start a family when they are ready too. for them, it is not political. and that should not be political here in congress either. especially when protecting this right is supported by a majority of democrats, a majority of independents and even yes a clear majority of republicans. madam president, the american people are watching closely. they were watching previously when the senate republicans blocked us from protecting the right to travel across states to get abortion care. they were watching a lasso republicans blocked expanding support for our nations long-standing family planning program. they were watching with the vast majority of republicans in the house voted against the right to birth control. and they are watching right now as republicans block a bill that preserves the right to use condoms, take the pill, get iuds, and by plan b.
as republicans refused to let us protect that right and passon ts bill and continue denying the threats that are already undermining that right. this is a basick fundamental right. and mark my words, the american people will not forget republicans from blocking is getting this done. thank you madam president i yield the floor. >> the junior senator from colorado. cliques madam president, in 1963, americans could be arrested in s some states simply for buying birth control pills. sixty years later, many states have their way, americans may face that reality once again. the supreme court overturning of roe versus wade is so sweeping, so unprecedented, that now it threatens the right to
contraception. iuds, emergency contraception's and other birth control could well all be banned, which seems hard to imagine. we are going backwards in time to when women did not have control of their own bodies nor the freedom to decide how and when they wanted to begin their families. who really believes a woman should not be able to use birth control? that a woman should not be able to decide whether or not she wants to get pregnant, a couple cannot decide they aren't ready for a family. how many women -- rick many children should each woman have, should be as many as possible? are they allowed to stop reproducing or is it a lifelong duty? politicians should not be making these decisions. this is a bill that guarantees a woman's right to access legal contraception.
that is it. there is no trick, no sleight-of-hand, you could pass it into law today. the house has passed it already. starting a family is among the most private and personal decisions a person can make. it changes your life in ways that most of us cannot even imagine. and yet there are people who want to force this restriction on women. for women everywhere but especially in rural and low income areas, birth control is essential healthcare. if you want to prevent unintended pregnancies, that is where you start. when i was governor, call roommate long lactic reversible contraception is like iuds available at little or no cost. that reduced unintended pregnancies by 54%.o
54%. yet, now in colorado some republicans are campaigning to put an initiative on the ballot this november that could make contraception and contraceptives illegal. many other states are considering similar moves or bills, amendments waiting in the wings. i think this is far, far beyond the mainstream of what mostie americans believe it. in fact, 92% of americans in a recent gallup poll said contraception is morally acceptable. my mother was born in 1921, a child of the great depression. she scrimped and saved every penny but she always, always made it a point to make some donation to planned parenthood. some years it might only be $10, but she believed they were for few burdens harder for a woman to bear than being compelled to start a family before she was ready. as a mother of four she knew how important it was for women to be
able to make that decision for themselves. who, are we, as politicians to tell american women, who has children, how many, and when. madam chair, yield the floor. >> madam president yield the floor. ask a senior senator from minnesota for. >> madam president arise in support of the right to contraception act. thirty-three days ago the supreme court issued ang rule shredding nearly five decades of precedent protecting a woman's right to make her own health care decisions. now, women as we have seen over the last week are at the mercy of a patchwork of state laws governing their ability to access reproductiveit care, leaving them with fewer rights than their moms and their grandmas. now a woman in minnesota has different rights when it comes to her reproductive care, then a
woman in missouri.rt i woman and north dakota has different rights than a woman in indiana. that is what we are dealing with right now. two weeks ago i joined a sever of my democratic colleagues on the floor to push for legislation to preserve a woman's right to travel to other states to access reproductive care led by senator cortez mastro. unfortunately, republicans on the other side of the aisle blocked us from that vote. so, we came back last week to push for legislation led by my colleague senator tina smith, to protect and expand funding for a program created under a republican administration, republican presidential administration to fund clinics to support maternal care, conduct cancer screenings and provide contraception. but again, that vote failed. because we were not allowed to move forward with it.
so we came back to the floor today because at the supreme court will not protect people's efundamental rights, that's why we have three branches of government. that was the concept of our founding fathers. so if the supreme court is not going to protect peoples of fundamental rights, that everyone in this chamber has to decide whether or not they are going to do it. that includes making sure everyone can access contraception. i am concerned the worst is yet to come. right now state and local legislatures are literally racing along with governors to be the first to say which state can limit wright's first? what rights can we take away? sadly it's not too hard to guess. o his concurring opinion in dobbs justice thomas actually laid out a roadmap with clear direction for how the clerk could overturn the right to contraceptive.
he said the supreme court, this is a quote, should reconsider, should reconsider. those two words they should s reconsider. where the constitution protects the right to access contraception as well as the right to marry whoever you love, why? he talked about looking at other cases with regard to right to privacy. the supreme court is recognized the right to access contraception for more than 57 years for the conservative justices on the supreme court have shown they do not hesitates to overturn decades old precedent, no matter what they say at their supreme court hearing. this threat is not hypothetical. last year at the missouri state legislature tried to cut off public funding for widely used contraception's like iud and plan b. mississippi governor refused to rule out contraception the bill was in indiana at the spring that could be used to make iuds
illegal. these radical proposals do not distort those in the state to implement the ban. since he dobbs decision we have now seen how state bands create an uncertain legal environment for doctors and strained resources at clinic in states like minnesota because he north dakota clinic had to literally start a gofundme page to be able the cost paid for, the cost of moving the clinic from fargo, north dakota to morehead. that's what is happening right now my m state. we cannot settle for a situation, s where i noted, peoe in my state have different rights that women in mississippi or missouri. and with so many extreme politicians out there racing to state capitals toe take the firt to take the rights-of-way we need to explicitly protect rights to accesson contraceptiot and information. oi will note more than 80% of
americans support access to contraception.on that is why i joined the center's market, or runner, murray and duckworth in cosponsoring this bill to protect the right to accessil contraception and information about contraceptives. this bill safeguard the patient's ability to seek contraceptives in healthcare to provide critical services. the right to contraception cannot just be an empty promise. that is why the bill gives the department of justice as well ae patients and doctors the power to make sure that we do not infringe on the right contraception. i am proud to join my colleagues. and for the last 33 days i been think about all of the women in this country facing it on acceptably uncertain future printed at each and every one of my colleagues have the opportunity to make clear where they stand. but when given the opportunity, some see the opportunity to
protect the rights to contraception, some deny by hopes of our colleagues will change their mind and we can move forward with this and put in place these laws protecting the right to travel. protecting the right to contraception. and of course in the end, protecting a woman's fundamental right to make her own reproductive decisions about abortion. without mr. president yield the floor. >> 's he spent as your unfiltered view of government pride funded by these television companies and more. including cox. >> homework can be hard. but squatting in a diner for internetwork is even harder. that's all they are providing lower income students access to affordable internet. so homework and just be homework. >> cox, among these other television providers giving you a front row seat to democracy.
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