U.S. House of Representatives approves shielding access to contraceptives

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved Thursday a bill to safeguard access to contraceptives, a month after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the legal precedent that allowed since 1973 abortion in the country.

With 228 votes in favor, including eight Repubicans, the measure seeks to codify access to contraceptives at the federal level, allowing individuals to obtain and use birth control and safeguarding pharmacies’ ability to dispense such products, ‘The Hill’ has reported.

Contraceptives protected by the legislation championed by the House of Representatives include oral and emergency medications, as well as intrauterine devices and preserpatives.

In this regard, the measure authorizes the attorney general, pharmacies and pharmacies to take civil action against any state that violates the provisions of the bill, preventing them from selling these types of drugs and contraceptive methods.

The bill, called the Right to Contraception Act, will have to be voted on in the Senate, where it is unlikely to get the support of the 10 Republicans needed for passage, as reported by the U.S. network CBS.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused Republicans during debate on the bill of trying to “turn back the clock for American women by restricting access to birth control,” and assured that “we are not going to back down.”

“This is their moment (…) With this passage, Democrats will make it clear that we will never give up the fight against the right’s outrageous attack on freedom,” added Pelosi, in statements picked up by the aforementioned network.

Republicans, for their part, have assured that the legislation “is not necessary,” and have argued that the measure would protect contraceptives not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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“First, this bill is completely unnecessary. In no way is access to contraception limited or at risk of being limited,” Republican Rep. Kat Cammack has said during debate in the House of Representatives.

“The liberal majority is clearly trying to stoke fears and mislead the American people once again because, in their view, stoking fear clearly is the only way they can win,” Cammack added.

U.S. President Joe Biden has applauded the passage of the bill and questioned why 194 Republican representatives voted against it.

“Today the House voted on a bill to protect access to contraception. Almost entirely thanks to Democrats, it passed. 194 House Republicans opposed it. It’s 2022. How do they oppose access to birth control?” asserted Biden on his Twitter account.

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