By Miriam Raftery
July 21, 2022 (Washington D.C.) – San Diego Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (CA-53) presided over the House Floor today during the passage of H.R. 8373, the Right to Contraception Act.
Congresswoman Jacobs is a co-lead of the bill introduced by Congresswoman Kathleen Manning in response to Justice Clarence Thomas calling for reconsideration of Griswold v. Connecticut, the landmark ruling which declared states could not outlaw birth control access for married couples.
East County’s Republican Congressman Darrell Issa voted against the bill, as did the vast majority of Republicans though several did cross party lines to vote in favor. The measure passed by a 228-195 margin.
Jacobs gave an impassioned floor speech in support of the measure, which was also backed by San Diego’s other three Democratic representatives (Scott Peters, Mark Levin, and Juan Vargas.)
During the debate of H.R. 8373, Congresswoman Jacobs provided personal insights.
““Madam Speaker, this bill could not be more important because for me and for tens of millions of Americans, these threats from Justice Thomas and the Supreme Court to take away our right to contraception are not abstract. “I’ve lived my entire life with this constitutional right to contraception – and it’s a right I’ve exercised for decades – whether it was the birth control pills I used when I was a teenager to address debilitating cramps, the IUD I’ve relied on for years, or the Plan B I’ve used at times that was thankfully available over the counter when I needed it.
“I’m probably the first person ever to speak about using Plan B on the House Floor, and I know I’m the first person in at least 35 years to talk about my period here, but you know what, we should be talking about it. We should be talking about periods and birth control and the health care that millions of Americans need for our everyday lives. Because this is not a side issue that only affects some people. This is a kitchen table issue.”
She added, “The decisions of how and if and when to grow a family are decisions that are personal and private and should never be decided by the Supreme Court or Congress. It’s a decision that is fundamental to our autonomy, our agency, and our ability to control our own lives. As a young woman, reproductive health care is my health care. And I’m so grateful that today we will take a step to codify that access into law. I urge my colleagues to support this bill.”
Congresswoman Sara Jacobs has been a tireless advocate for reproductive rights throughout her first term in Congress. In addition to co-leading H.R. 8373 and being an original cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, the Congresswoman introduced the My Body, My Data Act (H.R. 8111, S. 4434) with Senator Mazie Hirono and Senator Ron Wyden, which would create a new national standard to protect personal reproductive health data. She is also a co-sponsor of the Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act, legislation to expand insurance coverage for the full range of reproductive and fertility health care. Congresswoman Jacobs has publicly shared her personal experience freezing her eggs and about her efforts to expand fertility and reproductive health care.
By contrast, Congressman Darrell Issa has been a staunch opponent of reproductive rights. He signed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade and eliminate abortion rights for women. He voted against a House bill that would restore abortion rights and now, has shown himself to be an extremist voting against assuring women access to birth control such as birth control pill or IUDs to prevent unwanted pregnancies.