Wyoming Dems Call Barrasso Anti-Woman For Helping Block So-Called "Contraception Rights Act"

The Wyoming Democratic Party said Sen. John Barrasso is anti-woman for his Monday vote against the so-called Right to Contraception Act. He said the bill would have funneled taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood and created a federal right to oral abortion drugs.

Clair McFarland

June 11, 20243 min read

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming
U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming (Getty Images)

The Wyoming Democratic Party is calling out Wyoming’s two U.S. senators for helping block a bill that would have guaranteed a right to contraceptives, but also would have cancelled out a section of law affirming religious freedom.

The Right to Contraception Act required 60 votes last week to advance in the U.S. Senate but failed by a tally of 51-39.

Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, may be able to bring the bill to the floor again at a later date.

The Wyoming Democratic Party blasted the death of the legislation, and Wyoming’s Republican senior senator in particular for his opposition.

“(Sen.) John Barrasso’s recent vote against the Right to Contraception Act is yet one more example of the war on women’s rights being waged by Republicans,” reads a Monday statement posted on X (formerly Twitter) by the Wyoming Democratic Party.

Sen. Cynthia Lummis, another Wyoming Republican, also voted against advancing the act when it rose for consideration in the U.S. Senate last week.

The Democratic Party included a statement by the presumptive Democratic nominee for Barrasso’s seat, Scott Morrow.

“It is unconscionable that Senator Barrasso voted against codifying a woman’s right to birth control,” reads Morrow’s statement, which also condemns Barrasso’s support of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling to overturn Roe vs. Wade, a case that had enacted a federal right to abortion.

“Denying a woman’s right to prevent pregnancy is outrageous, especially in the U.S. where the maternal mortality rate far exceeds that of other high-income nations,” says Morrow’s statement.

He accuses Barrasso of endangering women and violating a Wyoming Constitution provision promising people the right to make their own health care decisions.

‘Radical Abortion Agenda’

But the detractors oversimplify what is actually a disingenuous bill, indicates a statement Barrasso sent Tuesday to Cowboy State Daily.

“The Democrats used this bill to stir up fear among voters ahead of the elections in November,” Barrasso said in his statement. “This bill would have funneled taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood and created a federal right to oral abortion drugs.”

Planned Parenthood is a network of facilities offering abortions, contraceptives and other treatments.

The bill also would have allowed the federal government to force companies or religious organizations to provide contraceptives, despite moral or religious beliefs, Barrasso added.

“There is no threat to contraception. Democrats are only using this to advance their radical abortion agenda,” he concluded.

What The Bill Says

The bill defines “contraception” broadly, as “an action taken to prevent pregnancy.”

It then promises an individual a right to obtain contraceptives, “and to voluntarily engage in contraception” — that is, any act to prevent pregnancy.

Once guaranteed, the right would apply beyond states’ attempts to legislate specific health care providers, facilities or the provision of contraception.

It would exempt contraceptives or contraceptive methods from any other laws governing them, including state laws.

The bill, if passed, would override an act affirming religious freedoms.

“This Act applies notwithstanding any other provisions of Federal law, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 – an act which commands federal agencies to defend the religious rights of people and organizations in America.

The Contraception Act says anyone adversely affected by an alleged violation of the act could sue a state for violating it. Health care providers could also sue to vindicate the legislation, and the U.S. Attorney General could sue any state that violates it as well.

Clair McFarland can be reached at clair@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter