PoliticsWednesday 06.05.24

51-39: Senate Republicans block consideration of bill to codify the right to contraception into federal law.

Senate Republicans on Wednesday voted to block consideration of a bill that would codify the right to contraception into federal law.

On a vote to begin work on the bill, the Senate voted 51-39, with nine Republicans lawmakers and one Democrat not present for the vote. The bill came up short of 60 votes needed to break the filibuster. Two Republicans, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, voted with Democrats in favor of the bill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York switched his “yes” vote to “no” in order to preserve the right to bring up the bill for a vote again in the future.

The legislation would guarantee a person’s right to access contraceptives and a doctor's right to provide information and access to them. The bill was meant to rally Democrats and pressure Republicans; Democrats are campaigning on abortion rights, including by hammering the GOP over fears that contraceptives could be targeted following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs case in 2022 that ended the federal guarantee to an abortion. Some pro-abortion advocates have expressed concerns that the Supreme Court — or Republican states — could restrict access to contraceptives in the future, so the bill was meant to head off that risk.

Before the vote, Schumer attempted to amp up the pressure on Republicans in a bid to secure more votes.

“This is the mess that Donald Trump, and the MAGA Supreme Court, and the Republican-led Senate has created. This is the mess that Democrats in the Senate are determined to fix,” Schumer said at a news conference a few hours before the vote. “This is not a show vote; this is a show us who you are vote. And the Republicans don't want to show who they really are.”

Recount Wire