RELEASE: Senators Josh Hawley and Eric Schmitt vote to let state politicians outlaw birth control

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The U.S. Senate failed to pass the Right to Contraception Act, which would affirm the right to use birth control in the United States. Missouri senators Josh Hawley and Eric Schmitt turned their backs on Missourians with their no votes, refusing to codify basic health care.

Hawley’s record makes it clear that he will do anything to keep Missourians from having access to reproductive health care, from his stance of being 100% pro-life to the work he and his family have done to ensure families can’t access birth control through their employer.

St. Louis resident Heather Donahue said the vote was a wake-up call for all Missourians.

“We’ve been shouting from the rooftops for years now that they will come for your birth control too – they won’t stop at abortion,” she said. “I never thought I would see in my lifetime that we would actually experience this threat to control our reproductive choices. But with self-serving politicians like Josh Hawley, I now believe there are no rights he won’t go after if he believes it would advance his career.”

Hawley’s track record on women and access to abortion and birth control is clear.

  • He and his family spend their private careers preventing women from having control of their own bodies and families; working on SCOTUS cases like Hobby Lobby (birth control), Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA (mifepristone/medication abortion)
  • In 2022, Hawley told a reporter who asked if a woman who lost her ability to have children would still be a woman, and he replied, “I mean, a woman has a vagina, right?”
  • In 2022, he attempted to give women second-class status by removing women from a proposal about a military draft – blaming “woke liberals.” 
  • He claims to be 100% pro-life meaning he is “opposed to abortion at any stage of pregnancy.” 

Missourians overwhelmingly support access to contraceptives, but some fear their lawmakers could pass laws limiting that availability, a March poll from The Right Time, a family planning initiative through the Missouri Family Health Council Inc., shows.

The Right to Contraception Act would protect unrestricted access to contraception in the face of growing threats by ensuring the legal right for individuals to use contraception and practitioners to provide contraception and related information.

Enshrining the right to contraception into federal law would reverse steps already taken by state legislatures to restrict access to contraceptives and ensure that any future court rulings would not endanger access to this essential health care.