Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle tend to play these stupid little games in order to make the other side appear off-base, outdated, regressive, or worse.
The whole idea is to bring legislation to the floor for a vote knowing the other side is in total opposition to the bill. The subject matter of the bill is typically a major hot-button issue, something like “women’s rights”, border security, or, in this case, birth control.
As the votes are tallied, whichever side is on the offensive is able to point to the other side of the aisle and make general, sweeping accusations about their intentions.
For example, on Thursday, the House of Representatives voted on legislation that would federalize access to contraception. One glance at the bill and even the most undereducated among us can clearly see it’s totally bogus. Needless to say, the bill did not get much GOP support, which allows Democrats to claim, “Republicans don’t support a woman’s right to birth control.”
See how that works?
The legislation passed anyway and, as expected, Democrats had a field day.
OK, so not only do Republicans want to institute a federal ban on abortion, but today 195 of them voted against codifying the right to contraception.
Only 8 voted yes. (Every Dem was a yes).
This was not a “gotcha” bill with a bunch of stuff btw. It was pretty straightforward. pic.twitter.com/Ve0AWaKemU
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 21, 2022
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 are they opposed to access to birth control? pic.twitter.com/hAmgJaBCtR
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 22, 2022
The past week:
– 209 House Republicans vote against abortion rights
– 205 House Republicans vote against protecting interstate travel for reproductive care
– 195 House Republicans vote against protecting contraception access
– 157 House Republicans vote against marriage equality
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) July 21, 2022
The lower chamber on Thursday passed the bill, the Right to Contraception Act, in a 228-195 vote, with eight Republicans joining all Democrats in favor and two members voting present.
The measure would guarantee a right to all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive pills and devices, as well as sterilization procedures. The bill’s introduction was a response to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s note in his concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the decision that overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, that other Supreme Court precedents relying on the right to privacy, such as the right to contraception, should be reexamined.
Republicans argue that the bill is overly broad and would strip healthcare providers of their freedom to object to administering birth control or sterilizations. The bill itself says, “Providers’ refusals to offer contraceptives and information related to contraception based on their own personal beliefs impede patients from obtaining their preferred method.”
Of particular concern to Republicans is the language that would override the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a 1993 law that created legal safeguards for religious people and entities with respect to federal rules.
RFRA was central to the landmark 2014 Supreme Court case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, in which the court determined that the Obamacare contraception mandate violated the law in cases of privately held, for-profit organizations like Hobby Lobby.
Another sticking point in the bill, Rodgers and fellow Republicans said, was its means of getting to the floor for a vote. It did not pass through a committee for debate or markup, the typical avenue for legislation. The bill was also hastily introduced, having been issued on Friday and taken up in the Rules Committee the following Monday.
Even if the Supreme Court overhauled the so-called ‘right to privacy’ in certain decisions, this would not make birth control illegal. Again, this is just another bait-and-switch tactic for Democrats.
Author: Monica Hedren