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VIDEO: On Senate Floor, Hirono Leads Colleagues in Calling Out Republicans for Blocking Right to Contraception Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) led eleven of her colleagues in speaking on the Senate floor in support of the Right to Contraception Act—legislation she leads with Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)—and calling out Republicans for blocking the bill. This legislation would guarantee the right for people to obtain and use contraceptives and for health providers to prescribe contraceptives, and give information related to contraception, free from government interference. The bill failed on the Senate floor, with only two Republicans voting to advance it.

“As Republican states across the country roll back fundamental reproductive rights, including the right to contraception, it is critical we protect access to contraceptives at the federal level,” said Senator Hirono. “The Right to Contraception Act is a straightforward bill that would do exactly that, protecting patients’ right to access contraception, as well as providers’ right to provide it. But once again, Republicans have shown they’re more interested in controlling women’s bodies than protecting our freedoms. Senate Democrats will continue working to protect reproductive rights and ensure that every person can access the health care they need.”

The vote comes at a crucial time as right-wing judges, U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and Republican-led state governments work to restrict contraception access across the country. Some states have attempted to ban some or all contraceptives, and others have defined abortion so broadly so as to include contraceptives in abortion bans.

Despite nine out of ten voters believing that birth control should be legal, Senate Republicans have blocked the bill from passing twice already, once in 2022 and again in 2023. Passage of the Right to Contraception Act would codify the right to contraception and ensure that extremist Republicans would no longer be able to hide their position on reproductive rights from the American people. Contraception is essential not only for sexual and reproductive health, but it can also be used to treat a wide array of medical conditions and decrease the risk of certain cancers. The Right to Contraception Act would guarantee that people–including historically marginalized groups–can get the care they need.  

In addition to Senators Hirono, Markey, and Duckworth, the Right to Contraception Act is cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Laphonza Butler (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), John Fetterman (D-PA), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), John Ossoff (D-GA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Krysten Sinema (I-AZ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), John Tester (D-MT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Link to download video of Senator Hirono’s floor speech is available here.