ICYMI: Butler Delivers Floor Speech on Right To Contraception Act

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.) joined her Senate Democratic colleagues in speaking out on the Senate Floor in support of the Right to Contraception Act. The bill would guarantee the right for people to obtain and use contraceptives and give information related to contraception free from government interference.

“Basic reproductive and sexual health care tools like contraception, like STI prevention, and like fertility treatment are under immediate threat, further reducing patients’ options on when and whether to start or grow their families,” said Senator Butler. “In Arizona, every Republican in both legislative chambers blocked legislation to protect access to contraception. In Oklahoma, we’ve seen the Republican legislature there advance legislation that could create a database of women who’ve obtained an abortion and could make IUDs and emergency contraception inaccessible. In Tennessee, House Republicans voted down a bill in committee that would have made clear that the state’s abortion ban would not jeopardize access to contraceptive care or fertility treatments. In short, M. President, at every opportunity extreme MAGA Republicans haven’t stopped their unconscionable campaign to chip away at women’s access to basic health care.”

Senate Republicans blocked the Right to Contraception Act from passing by unanimous consent in 2022 and again in 2023. The bill passed the House of Representatives in July 2022. This is the first time the Right to Contraception Act has come for a vote in the Senate. 

Highlighting California’s critical role in maintaining the frontlines of reproductive freedom, Senator Butler uplifted the perspectives of Southern California college students Martin Orea and Emily Oh, who serve as Youth Health Equity and Safety Ambassadors for Essential Access Health, a nonprofit dedicated to championing quality sexual and reproductive health care for all. In their writing to Senator Butler, Martin and Emily made clear the urgent need to protect access to contraception.

“When I came to this chamber, I made a promise. I made a promise to be urgent in my efforts to protect the rights of young people like Martin, Emily, and others in their generation who are tired of being ignored and dismissed,” Senator Butler continued. “We cannot fail them or let them down in this moment.”

A full transcript of Butler’s remarks can be found below:

“M. President,

“I rise today to join my colleagues in calling for the passage of the Right to Contraception Act. I’d like to start, of course, by thanking Senators Markey, Hirono, and Duckworth for their work in championing legislation that preserves women and families’ right to plan a pregnancy on their own terms.

“Basic reproductive and sexual health care tools like contraception, like STI prevention, and like fertility treatment are under immediate threat, further reducing patients’ options on when and whether to start or grow their families.

“In Arizona, every Republican in both legislative chambers blocked legislation to protect access to contraception.

“In Oklahoma, we’ve seen the Republican legislature there advance legislation that could create a database of women who’ve obtained an abortion and could make IUDs and emergency contraception inaccessible. 

“In Tennessee, House Republicans voted down a bill in committee that would have made clear that the state’s abortion ban would not jeopardize access to contraceptive care or fertility treatments.

“In short, M. President, at every opportunity extreme MAGA Republicans haven’t stopped their unconscionable campaign to chip away at a women’s access to basic health care.

“According to 2022 data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, ninety percent of females aged 18-64 have used contraception at some point during reproductive years. Ninety percent. If we were to let those extremists have their way, it would mean millions of women in our country being left without options and forced into unwanted pregnancy and other situations that we may not be prepared for.

“Now my state, California, has been a leader on the frontlines of reproductive freedom. Five months after the Dobbs decision, California voters overwhelmingly chose to amend the state constitution and unequivocally protect the right to abortion and contraception.

“This week I heard from Martin Orea and Emily Oh from Southern California, first year students attending Santa Monica College and Irvine Valley College, respectively. Together they serve as Youth Health Equity and Safety Ambassadors for Essential Access Health, a nonprofit dedicated to championing quality sexual and reproductive health care for all.

“They wrote to me saying: ‘Access to contraception is not just a health issue—it’s a lifeline for our autonomy and future. Access to contraception is about giving us the power to shape our destinies. When we have the tools to manage our health, we can stay in school, build stable families, and contribute positively to our communities. The ability to get contraception enables us to lead healthier, more productive lives and achieve our dreams. It’s about fostering personal responsibility, stability, and economic self-reliance.’

“M. President, when I came to this chamber, I made a promise. I made a promise to be urgent in my efforts to protect the rights of young people like Martin, Emily, and others in their generation who are tired of being ignored and dismissed. We cannot fail them or let them down in this moment.

“In closing, I urge my colleagues to join in and ensure that attacks on contraceptives do not go unchecked. We must support this legislation and safeguard contraceptive care for the millions of young girls, women, and patients across the country.

“Thank you, M. President. I yield the floor.”

Link to Senator Butler’s Floor Speech Can Be Found HERE

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