Biden urges Congress to restore Roe v. Wade protections after Senate GOP blocks contraception bill

President Biden doubled down on his push for Congress to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade into federal law, after Senate Republicans blocked a bill from consideration Wednesday that would have established a federal right to birth control.

“@VP and I believe that women in every state must have the freedom to make deeply personal health care decisions,” Biden wrote in a post on the social platform X, referring to Vice President Kamala Harris.

“We’ll continue to fight to protect access to reproductive health care and we urge Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law,” Biden continued.

The vote to consider the underlying bill, “The Right to Contraception Act,” failed in a 51-39 vote. Support from 60 senators is required to bring the underlying bill to the floor for a vote.

The bill — which Republicans argued is overly broad and unnecessary — would guarantee the legal right for individuals to get and use contraception and for health care providers to provide contraception, information, referrals and services related to contraception. It would apply to hormonal birth control pills, the “morning after” pill, intrauterine devices (IUDs) and other methods.

It would also prohibit the federal government and any state from administering or enforcing any law, rule or regulation to prohibit or restrict the sale or use of contraception.

The focus on contraception rights comes amid Democrats’ election-year push to focus on reproductive rights, a particularly salient issue among American voters and a political vulnerability for the GOP.

Democrats wanted to get Republicans on the record opposing those efforts, as the GOP struggles with how to message its stance on reproductive rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.   

Polling consistently shows there is broad bipartisan support for birth control. According to the annual Gallup values and beliefs poll released last year, 88 percent of Americans said birth control was morally acceptable. 

More recently, a February Impact Research poll commissioned by Americans for Contraception found contraception mobilizes voters who are currently less enthusiastic about the election, including young Hispanic and female voters and Black voters. 

In a March poll, 1 in 5 Americans said they believe access to birth control is under threat, according to the health research group KFF. 

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