Pro-reproductive rights and pro-life protesters
Pro-reproductive rights and pro-life protesters Credit: Pro-life protest photo by Steve Sanchez; pro-reproductive rights photo by Drew Petroimouis


Voting 228 for and 195 against, the House on July 21, 2022, passed a bill (HR 8373) that would codify as federal law multiple Supreme Court rulings that access to contraception is protected by constitutional provisions including a right to privacy based on the Fourteenth Amendment. The bill would establish a statutory right for women to obtain and doctors to prescribe contraceptives. It would enshrine in law the Supreme Court’s 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut decision, which validated the constitutional right of married couples to use contraceptives, as well as other rulings by the court that recognized the right of non-married persons and minors to use contraceptives.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Sara Jacobs, D-Calif., said “threats from Justice Thomas and the Supreme Court to take away our right to contraception are not abstract….I am probably the first person ever to speak about using Plan B on the House floor and I know I am the first person in at least 35 years to talk about my period here….We should be talking about periods and birth control and the health care that millions of Americans need for our everyday lives because this is not a side issue that only affects some people. This is a kitchen-table issue.”

Opponent Kat Cammack, R-Fla., said the bill “jeopardizes constitutional rights of individuals and organizations…by forcing providers to prescribe various forms of contraception that violate their religious rights. We are a nation that upholds and values religious freedom, and this bill…flies in the face of individuals with religious liberty concerns” while providing “a back door for abortion service providers, like Planned Parenthood, to tap into more federal taxpayer dollars.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where no vote has occurred.


Voting 190 for and 234 against, the House on July 21, 2022, refused to accept a Republican-sponsored amendment requiring the Food and Drug Administration to give “priority review” to potentially allowing over-the-counter sale of birth control pills it deems safe for women at least 18 years old. However, emergency contraceptives such as Plan B would still require a prescription. Had this GOP-sponsored “motion to recommit” prevailed, the amendment would have been immediately added to the underlying bill (HR 8373), a measure to codify the right to contraception in federal law.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Sponsor Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, said: “Making birth control available over the counter would have a significant impact on women’s lives. [Democrats] give you a whole lot of lip service about supporting women. They claim that their policies, no matter how far outside of the mainstream, are the only way to support women. That is just not true. I am proposing a solution today that the overwhelming majority of American women agree with….”

Opponent Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said: “The half-measures that Republicans are purporting to bring forward today do not establish a right to contraception, nor do they ensure that hostile state legislators can’t take away birth control in the future. Only the Right to Contraception Act ensures that.”

A yes vote was to adopt the GOP-sponsored motion amending the bill.


Voting 219 for and 210 against, the House on July 15, 2022, passed a bill (HR 8296) that would codify in federal law the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which guaranteed women in all states the constitutional right to abortion. The vote occurred 22 days after the court, in a 6-3 decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturned Roe on grounds that abortion access is not a constitutionally guaranteed right but the prerogative of each state to grant or deny. The ruling upheld a Mississippi statute that outlawed abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. By contrast, the Supreme Court in its 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey held that fetuses usually do not become “viable” until 20-to-24 weeks after inception, and that abortions were legal up until that time.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Lois Frankel, D-Fla., said it was necessary to codify Roe because “Republicans across the country and in Congress are moving full steam ahead toward their dark and extreme goal of a nationwide abortion ban that will throw doctors into jail, force children to bear children, lead to tragic deaths and life-changing hardships for people in our country.”

Calling abortion “a grave human rights abuse,” opponent Ben Cline, R-Va., and said “no one has the right to end the life of an innocent human being. The government has a duty to protect that right to life. Since 1973, more than 63 million unborn babies have had their lives cut short. That is a tragedy and simply unacceptable, and I stand here for the sake of millions of children, for the sake of the integrity of our nation.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where no vote has occurred.


Voting 209 for and 218 against, the House on July 15, 2022, refused to consider a bill offered by Republicans to replace a Democratic bill (HR 8296, above) that sought to make the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling a federal law. The GOP measure (HR 619) would require that fetuses appearing to have survived an abortion procedure receive the same level of medical care “as a reasonably diligent and conscientious healthcare practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age,” including immediate hospitalization. The bill would subject any doctor who “intentionally performs or attempts to perform an overt act that kills a child born alive” to prosecution for murder. Any healthcare practitioner who is present for the procedure or has knowledge of it would be subject to up to five years’ imprisonment unless they report the incident to law enforcement.

Under House procedure, had this GOP-sponsored “motion to recommit” prevailed, the House would then have voted on whether to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (HR 619), rather than on the Democratic bill.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn., called it “stunning that Congress is wasting its time on legislation that is so out of touch with the people it represents. What we should be focusing on is helping women and protecting the innocent lives of babies…. We are talking about children who have already been born. We are talking about infanticide.”

Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said: “While Republicans seek to punish and control women by criminalizing abortion nationwide, House Democrats will continue our fight to restore the right to abortion as the law of the land.”

A yes vote was to bring the GOP replacement bill to an up-or-down vote.


Voting 223 for and 205 against, the House on July 15, 2022, passed a bill (HR 8297) that would ensure the right to cross state lines to obtain a lawful abortion. The bill also would prevent the criminalization of doctors and nurses who provide abortion care to out-of-state women and girls, while protecting family members and others who help the individual cross state lines. In addition, the bill would prohibit states from denying out-of-state individuals access to abortion pills.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., said: “Roe v. Wade wasn’t the beginning of women having abortions; it was the end of women dying from abortions….This bill is about freedom, and one of the most precious freedoms that we have is the freedom to travel from state to state in the United States of America….protected under the Commerce Clause” of the Constitution.

Opponent Diana Harshbarger, R-Tenn., called the bill “a deceptive ploy to circumvent the authority of states to set their own laws about abortion procedures or, more plainly, the procedures that violently end an unborn child’s life.” She said the bill would benefit child abusers who “transport minors across state lines to receive abortions after their abuse.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where no vote has occurred.


Voting 209 for and 219 against, the House on July 15, 2022, refused to consider a Republican-sponsored bill that would replace a Democratic-sponsored bill (HR 8297, above) ensuring the right of minors to cross state lines to obtain a lawful abortion. Under the GOP bill, those transporting girls out-of-state for abortions would face criminal penalties if they disregard state law requiring the consent of a parent or guardian. Several states have such laws.

Had this GOP-sponsored “motion to recommit” prevailed, the House would have voted on whether to pass the Republicans’ replacement bill named the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Mike Johnson, R-La., said: “A parent should be involved in the life of their child, and state laws should never be circumvented to benefit those seeking to take advantage of minors. When a state says a guardian or parent should be notified that their minor is seeking an abortion, that law ought to be respected and followed.”

Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said: “We speak what we believe. That is what this legislation does, and that is what reproductive freedom is. It is to ensure that the GOP does not criminalize abortion in all 50 States.”

A yes vote was to adopt the GOP motion amending the bill.


Voting 218 for and 211 against, the House on Sept. 24, 2021, passed a bill (HR 3755) that would establish the right in federal law, with few exceptions, for women to receive abortions and for healthcare providers to administer them. The bill was debated nine months before the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade and returned control over abortions to the states. The bill sought to quash restrictions that several states had placed on abortion services, with a special pushback against a Texas law outlawing abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. After the Dobbs ruling, Texas totally banned abortions except in extreme circumstances.

The bill would, in part, prohibit state governments from (1) withholding or unnecessarily delaying abortion procedures; (2) limiting a healthcare provider’s ability to prescribe certain drugs; (3) denying telemedicine abortion services; (4) spreading false information about abortion procedures and reproductive rights; and (5) requiring patients to make medically unnecessary in-person visits or disclose to authorities the reason for the abortion.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., said the right to abortion in Texas “is under horrible threat by a shameful and unconstitutional law…that bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, before many women even know they are pregnant. That is a law in defiance of the federal law [under Roe]. It turns private citizens into snitches to turn women in. That is reminiscent of the Third Reich. And if that sounds staggering, it is because it is.”

Opponent Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said: “This latest Democrat scheme would go against the wishes of the American people and make abortion on demand for any reason legal until the time of birth. It is clear to see that the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act is not about protecting the lives of unborn female babies. It is about handing the anti-unborn baby industry a victory it has sought for many years….”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it was shelved by a Republican-led filibuster. Senate vote here.