Press Release

Welch Speaks on the Importance of the Right to Contraception Act Ahead of Senate Vote

Jun 5, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. –On Tuesday evening, Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.) delivered remarks on the Senate Floor emphasizing the importance of passing the Right to Contraception Act, legislation that guarantees the right for people to obtain and use contraceptives and protects providers’ rights to prescribe contraceptives and provide information related to contraception, free from government interference. Welch’s remarks came ahead of the Senate’s attempt to advance the legislation today, which was blocked by Senate Republicans. The bill passed the House of Representatives in July 2022 but was blocked in the Senate in 2022 and again in 2023. 

“There seems to be some confusion among my colleagues across the aisle about what this bill is and how important reproductive health care is,” said Senator Welch. “It’s very important, and everyone needs access, both to whatever birth control options make the most sense for them, and to whatever preventive health care makes sense to them. Contraceptives can help prevent and treat medical conditions. This is about ensuring every person, in every zip code, has access to the birth control that they need if they need it. This is a right of women and every individual to make decisions about their bodies and their futures. Politicians should not be involved. The Court shouldn’t even be intimating it is threatening to take that away. This legislation is needed to guarantee they won’t.” 

Sen. Welch also emphasized how the U.S. Supreme Court’s dismal Dobbs decision has caused distress and uncertainty for women and individuals across the country. Welch highlighted Vermont’s long history of protecting reproductive rights, including the state’s action enshrining reproductive liberties in its constitution via ballot measure following the overturn of Roe v. Wade in 2022. 

Watch the Senator’s full remarks below

Specifically, the Right to Contraception Act would uphold access to contraception by: 

  1. Guaranteeing the legal right for individuals to get and use contraception and for health care providers to provide contraceptives, contraception, and information, referrals, and services related to contraception; 
  2. Prohibiting the federal government or any state from administering, implementing, or enforcing any law, rule, regulation, standard or other provision that would prohibit or restrict the sale, provision, or use of contraception; and 
  3. Allowing the Department of Justice (DOJ), providers, and individuals harmed by restrictions on contraception access made unlawful under the legislation, to go to court to enforce these rights. 

More than half of the Senate Democratic caucus backs the Right to Contraception Act, and the bill is supported by 132 members in the House. The bill is endorsed by over 20 organizations—read the full list here

This Congress, Senate Democrats attempted to pass four common-sense bills: the Right to Contraception Act, the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act, the Upholding Protections for Health and Online Location Data (UPHOLD) Privacy Act, and the Let Doctors Provide Reproductive Health Care Act—all of which were blocked by Senate Republicans.