Herrera Beutler votes against birth control law
Lauren Ellenbecker / The Colombian
The U.S. House of Representatives recently observed several legislative moves to protect vulnerable rights after the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June, including the codification of a person’s right to contraception.
The Right to Contraception Act, passed Thursday, affirms an individual’s ability to access contraceptives while ensuring health providers can prescribe them; those who restrict access to contraceptives may be penalized. House members remained within party boundaries as the bill passed 228-195. Eight Republicans joined the 220 Democrats – Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler was not among them.
“I support preserving Americans’ access to contraception and I support legislation that prevents states from banning FDA-approved contraception and expedites federal approval of over-the-counter oral contraceptive options for use in routine,” the congresswoman wrote in a statement to the Columbian. . “What I cannot support is legislation like the bill introduced in the House today that could encourage the dangerous off-label use of certain drugs to terminate pregnancies and force religious institutions to violate their beliefs.”
House Republicans were concerned that the bill violated moral protection laws, including the Religious Restoration Freedom Act of 1993. The legislation prohibits the government from “substantially burdening the exercise of a person’s religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability”.
Conversely, Washington state Democrats wrote in a statement that the right to contraception law is essential to guarantee the inherent freedoms of individuals, especially since the right to abortion has been hobbled after Dobbs vs. Jackson.
Herrera Beutler added that the legislation should have been reviewed by the commissions and improved accordingly. She said the birth control bill lacks teeth in the Senate because it may not receive enough votes to break a Republican filibuster.