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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks Ahead Of Tomorrow’s Vote To Advance The Right To Contraception Act

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the upcoming vote to advance the Right to Contraception Act. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

I am proud to stand with my colleagues, and I am so proud to support this bill.

You know, today should have been a day of celebration. It was the 105th anniversary of the Senate passing the 19th Amendment, one of the greatest amendments ever passed, granting women the right to vote under the U.S. Constitution. That was a proud moment for this chamber, and one of the greatest victories ever in the march towards women’s equality – a march that New York proudly advanced. Upstate New York was a hotbed of the women’s suffrage movement, including in places like Seneca Falls.

But on this 105th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s passage, we must confront the ugly truth that women, sadly, have fewer freedoms today than they did just a few years ago.

Because a few weeks from now, America will observe a different anniversary, a much darker anniversary: that of the MAGA Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. Thanks to that decision, and thanks to the hard-right’s war on women, reproductive freedoms are at their lowest point in modern history.

And who knows how far the hard-right will go? Two years ago, the MAGA court eliminated the protections of Roe. Tomorrow it could be something else. Maybe it could be the Griswold decision that protected the right to use birth control. To those who think that’s outlandish or impossible to happen, just remember Clarence Thomas himself opened the door to this possibility in his concurring opinion the day Roe was overturned.

We are kidding ourselves if we think the hard-right is satisfied with simply overturning Roe. And for all those who say it can never happen, remember: people said before Dobbs that Roe would never be overturned. And of course, unfortunately it was, by the right-wing MAGA court, appointed by Donald Trump and our Republican colleagues here in the Senate.

So, tomorrow the Senate will act. We will vote to move forward on the Right to Contraception Act.

Supporting federal protections for contraceptives should be definition of simple and commonsense and easy to choose, too. The bill we will vote on tomorrow simply says if you want to access birth control, or if you’re a health care provider wanting to prescribe birth control, the government has no right to interfere. Doesn’t that seem like common sense? After all, access to birth control is something ninety percent of Americans support.

Of course, we’re already hearing the same predictable, tired, and unpersuasive retorts from the other side. That this vote is somehow unnecessary, that birth control could never possibly be at risk, that this is much ado about nothing. That is simply not true.

To those who argue federal protections for birth control are unnecessary, go ask the people of Virginia what they think, after their Republican governor vetoed a bill that would have protected contraceptives at the state level.

Go ask the people of Nevada what they think, after their Republican governor also vetoed a bill to protect access to birth control.

To those who say birth control will never fall at risk, go ask the people of Arizona. Or Florida. Or Idaho. Or Iowa. Or Missouri. In each of these states, Republican governors or Republican state legislators are on record blocking protections for birth control access in some form or another.

It is unacceptable – simply unacceptable – for Americans to even question whether or not access to birth control should fall at risk. But that is precisely the worry one in five Americans have today. We can eliminate that worry in one fell swoop by passing the Right to Contraception Act.

I hope both sides join together to show strong support for this essential bill tomorrow when we vote on it.