‘Parental rights’: GOP warns Dem Senate bill is about more than contraception

Republicans slammed a bill being considered by the Senate on Wednesday afternoon, saying their Democrat counterparts are “fearmongering” over access to contraception “to score cheap political points.”

“There is no threat to access to contraception, which is legal in every state and required by law to be offered at no cost by health insurers,” more than 20 Republican senators said in a joint statement.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., informed senators on Sunday that they should expect to vote on a bill designed to protect the right to contraception during the week, and he later announced that the bill was slated for Wednesday. 

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“This is not a show vote. This is a show-us-who-you-are vote,” Schumer said at a press conference Wednesday ahead of the vote, responding to Republican criticisms that he was scheduling votes on messaging bills rather than bipartisan legislation with a higher likelihood of moving forward.

Republicans are criticizing the bill to be considered, the Right to Contraception Act, saying it “infringes on the parental rights and religious liberties of some Americans and lets the federal government force religious institutions and schools, even public elementary schools, to offer contraception like condoms to little kids.”

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“It’s just another way for Democrats to use activist attorneys and our courts to advance their radical agenda and that is why we oppose this bill,” the group of senators wrote. 

The group was led by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who is running for GOP leader in the new Senate, where Republicans have a good opportunity to regain the majority in November. 

Co-signers of the statement include Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Rand Paul, R-Ky., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Ted Budd, R-N.C., James Lankford, R-Okla., Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Mike Rounds, R-S.D., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., Katie Britt, R-Ala., Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., John Thune, R-S.D., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Steve Daines, R-Mont.

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Top pro-Life group Susan B. Anthony Pro Life America also blasted the bill in a letter, saying it “seeks to guarantee funding to abortion providers by barring federal and state governments from redirecting contraception funding to life-affirming health care providers. Therefore, abortionists and abortion facilities would be entitled to taxpayer funding even if the representative government in their state has redirected such funding from abortion providers to life-affirming providers.”

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“The Democrats’ deceptive Payouts to Planned Parenthood Act has less to do with access to contraception than with funneling taxpayer dollars to the abortion industry and crushing dissent. Contraception is legal and available in every state and Congress funds contraception through numerous federal programs every year,” the group’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, said in a statement.

The measure is likely to fall short of the 60 votes necessary to move forward on Wednesday when the cloture motion gets a vote.

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