House Passes Contraception Bill Threatening ‘Commonsense Conscience Laws’
(Photo by Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday heralded as a protectress of the “right to contraception.” But pro-life advocates and conservatives warn that the Right to Contraception Act is merely the Trojan horse of abortion activists pushing religious freedom infringements.

“This bill isn’t about codifying a right, but weaponizing hysteria against Clarence Thomas in an attempt to salvage the November election and distract from Democrat failures,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who voted against the legislation, warned Thursday. “This rushed legislation would overturn commonsense conscience laws to increase distribution of chemical abortion pills and other abortifacients through vague language and a hurried legislative process.”

The Right to Contraception Act would “protect a person’s ability to access contraceptives and to engage in contraception, and to protect a health care provider’s ability to provide contraceptives, contraception, and information related to contraception.”

Republicans Bob Gibbs of Ohio and Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania voted present on the bill, while eight Republicans voted for the bill: Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Nancy Mace of South Carolina, Fred Upton of Michigan, and Maria Salazar of Florida.

“It is outrageous — we keep using that word — 60 years after Griswold was decided, 60 years after Griswold, women must again fight for our basic right to birth control against an extremist Republican Party,” Pelosi said Wednesday, according to The Wall Street Journal. “Let us be clear: We are not going back. For our daughters or granddaughters, we are not going back.”

The Right to Contraception Act would supersede the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

John McCormack with the National Review notes:

By including the same poison-pill language about RFRA in their “Right to Contraception Act,” Democrats appear to be taking a page from their 2012 playbook: picking a fight over religious liberty in order to portray Republicans as opposing the legal right to contraception.

The Democrats’ “Right to Contraception Act” explicitly condemns (in one of its official findings) state conscience laws that protect health-care providers who refuse to offer contraception (a term that the bill says includes sterilization procedures).

In a Thursday letter to lawmakers, the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List warned that it would score against those who voted for the bill.

“Nancy Pelosi and pro-abortion Democrats will stop at nothing to ensure the abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood has a steady flow of taxpayer dollars to prop up their brutal business. Abortion is violence and no health care provider should ever be forced to be complicit,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said, dubbing the legislation the “Payouts for Planned Parenthood Act.”

“Payouts for Planned Parenthood Act is just the latest ploy for the Democrats to impose abortion on demand until birth nationwide and funnel money to the abortion lobby that is spending $150 million to get them elected,” she added. “They will be held accountable for their radical, deeply unpopular agenda.”

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