Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

By Miriam Raftery

June 6, 2024 (Washington D.C.) – After Republicans in multiple states introduced measures to restrict women’s access to birth control including IUDs and birth control pills, Democrats in Congress tried to enact the Right to Contraception Act (S. 4381) which would have protected birth control access nationwide. But Senate Republicans blocked the measure. Only two Republicans, both women, voted to protect birth control access.

Though 14 states including California currently protect birth control access in their state constitutions or by state law, if Republicans retake control of Congress and the presidency, they could pass a nationwide law outlawing some forms of birth control. 
Congresswoman Sara Jacobs, a Democrat whose district includes part of San Diego’s East County, voiced outrage at her colleagues’ action. “I went on birth control in high school for debilitating cramps. I’ve used Plan B. I have an IUD. Birth control is health care for me and millions of others—and we deserve the right to access it,” she posted on X (formerly Twitter) yesterday. “Today, Senate Republicans blocked this right… just one more reason to vote them out.”
S.4381, the measure killed by Senate Republicans, addressed only contraception; the bill’s text does not include abortion.
Congressman Darrell Issa, an East County Republican, previously voted no on a similar House measure, the Right to Contraception Act, HR 8373. His stance against birth control access is nothing new. When Issa chaired a Congressional panel on contraception back in 2012, he drew outrage by refusing to allow any women to testify. “Of the five witnesses called to testify in the first round, all five were men who opposed contraception,” Slate reported. ABC news confirmed that the hearing sparked protests and a walk-out by some women members of Congress. Senator Patty Murray warned at the time, “There is nothing new about these Republican attacks on our family planning decisions. In fact, from the moment they came into power, Republicans in the House of Representatives have been waging a war on women's health."
Senator Katie Britt, an Alabama Republican who voted against protecting birth control access, slammed Democrats for what she called “scare tactics.”
But it’s a fact that Republicans have stepped up their attacks on birth control access since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, kicking abortion regulation back to the states—and many states have since outlawed nearly all abortions. Some have also blocked or restricted access to medication used to induce early stage abortions, which are also used to treat women suffering miscarriages and have become unavailable.
The bill blocked by Republican legislators would have assured women access to guaranteed women access to birth control, such as intrauterine devices (IUDs), birth control pills, and the morning after pill to prevent conception, such as after rape.
Examples of states where birth control access is under attack by Republican legislators include Missouri where the GOP tried to restrict access to the morning after pill commonly used by rape victims to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus,  Idaho where hearings are planned to possibly ban IUDs and emergency contraception, and Louisiana, where a House committee passed a bill that declares life begins at conception, which could outlaw IUDs, Plan B medications, and possibly other forms of birth control that prevent unwanted pregnancies. 
Next up, Senate Democrats say they plan to introduce a bill to protect in-vitro fertilization, which one Southern state’s court has already outlawed since not all fertilized embryos are carried to term. It remains to be seen whether Republicans will also oppose protections for IVF, a popular alternative for couples unable to have children on their own.
The Republicans’ actions come despite numerous polls showing nearly all Americans support access to birth control, and the vast majority also support abortion access.  
A 2022 poll by FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos found that well above 90% of Americans including over 90% of Republicans support access to birth control pills and condoms, over 80% said they support access to IUDs including over 80% of Republicans, and over 80% support access to emergency contraception such as Plan B, Including over 60% of Republicans. The partisan divide becomes apparent however on access to medication abortions/abortion pills, still backed by well over 80% of Americans, but less than 40% of Republicans.  As for surgical abortions, 80% of Americans support access, but just over 30% of Republicans favor access to surgical abortions.
Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump said earlier this year that he was open to considering birth control restrictions, but later said he would not back an outright ban on birth control, leaving open the door that he may sign restrictions on some forms of birth control if elected in November.
President Joe Biden issued this more definitive statement on the Senate action. “Senate Republicans just refused to protect a woman's right to birth control,” the president said. “This is the second time since the Supreme Court's extreme decision to overturn Roe v. Wade that congressional Republicans have refused to safeguard this fundamental right for women in every state. It's unacceptable.”

Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.


The choice people have failed

because they claimed that abortion is a "constitutional right" which of course is not true. There are some human rights which are protected by the paper drawn up by a hundred rich white guys long ago, and abortions option is not one of them. Anyhow the personal rights of people, especially women, is a human right and not a constitutional right. From the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- "Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world, Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people, . .Article 1 -- All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.". . . The Christian bible does not conform to these proclamations, which have become political moves to remove female human rights. . .but "submit to males. . ." . . . and Miriam is a fine example of what females are capable of, compared to the bible-driven wrong male corporate-financed vote-getters.

Men have rights, women do not.

Declaration of Independence -- "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. . ."

Sadly true, which is why we needed the equal rights amendment.

Too bad not enough states would have supported its passage back in the '70s, or we wouldn't be in this situation today of seeing the clock rolled back a century. 

So if you oppose birth control for women, does that mean you also support outlawing vasectomies for men? 

well don

THERE IS NO GOD!!!! or someone would have seen them walking around somewhere. those are just words on paper, just like these words!


Men (mostly) telling women what to do regarding their own personal heath? Ridiculous! Their bodies - their choice!

It's a Christian country

and the bible dictates that women submit to men. Ephesians 5:21–24—“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Totally wrong. We have never been a Christian country.

Many of the founding fathers were not Christian or believed in a secular society. All of them signed onto a Constsitution and bill of rights that included freedom of religion--it did NOT specificy that people were only free to practice one religion. What they wanted was freedom from government dictating religion --exactly what they fled England to escape.

Today we have people of many religions including Jews, Muslims,Hindus, Buddhists and atheists. And of course even most Christians believe in birth control.  Why should a tiny,tiny minority that opposes birth control be able to dictate what everyone else can do?  How many unwanted children have you personally volunteered to adopt?  So if even a married woman doesn't want more children, you're saying she and her husband should stop having sex,  since that's the only 100% effective means of preventing pregnancy without birth control.

I respect the right of everyone to practice their religion as they see fit --but not to tell others what to do.  Anyone who believes in denying women basic rights is no better than the Taliban.




"The founding fathers" --

that says it all. They were all delivered by women who weren't allowed to "found"anything, or even vote for it, for many years. It was the "fathers", many of whom owned slaves with the males at a portion of a full vote, and who lorded over all females with no vote. And that's because of what the bible says. There is no other basis for it than in the bible which is preached at every church large and small throughout the country. And because I refer to it doesn't mean that I support it. It's just a fact. That women must submit to men is a central tenet of Christianity which is why it exists in the country, and why Trump supports it.

More wrong assumptions.

Many Christians do not support Trump.  His intolerance, hatred and cruelty are the very opposite of what Jesus taught. 


Miriam, you said it all, and I applaud you for it!