OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Thursday the U.S. House voted to pass a bill aimed at protecting access to contraceptives. The Right to Contraception Act protects both a person's ability to access contraception and a provider's ability to prescribe them.
All but eight Republicans voted against the bill.
Dr. Maureen Boyle, an OBGYN with Methodist Physicians Clinic said the right to contraceptives is crucial, especially if abortion access is threatened.
"You can be against abortion, you can be against contraception; but to be against both really, to me, makes a statement for what legislators think the role of women are in the world today," Boyle said.
Contraceptives are used to treat a wide range of patients for a wide range of reasons and, Dr. Boyle says, they're not just used for preventing pregnancy.
"We can use them for things like treating heavy menstrual cycles or painful menstrual cycles. We can actually use some types of contraceptives, believe it or not, to prevent or treat uterine cancer. We can decrease the risk of ovarian cancer with certain types of contraceptives," Dr. Boyle said. "So we call them contraceptives, but I almost wish they’d change the name of it, like 'hormone manipulation pills,' when we look at the different ways that we tend to use them."
Boyle — who also sits on the Douglas County Board of Commissioners — says that while other reasons for contraceptives are important, preventing pregnancy is also valid.
"When women have access to control when and how they will have their families, they tend to have them in a more planned setting. They’re able to be educated, they’re able to avoid raising their children in poverty situations," Dr. Boyle said. "Bottom line is contraception decreases abortion rates."
Nebraska representatives Don Bacon and Mike Flood voted against the bill.
In a statement to 3 News Now, Congressman Bacon says he believes women should have access to contraceptives and is a co-sponsor of the Republican-led bill, Access to Safe Contraception Act.
“Women should have access to contraception which is why I support the Republicans’ bill, 'Access to Safe Contraception Act.' It resembles the Democrats’ bill with a few differences: it does not force religious hospitals or providers with deeply held religious beliefs to provide these drugs, and it maintains state regulation of the practice of medicine and pharmacies. If they wish to pass legislation on a bipartisan basis, they should propose legislation that all parties can support.”, Bacon said.
In a statement to 3 News Now, Congressman Flood said access to contraception is not threatened.
"Americans are facing the highest inflation we’ve seen in 40 years, a worsening border crisis, and skyrocketing crime — real problems that Congress should be focused on solving. Instead, Democrats are too busy fearmongering, desperate to distract from the failures of their one-party rule. Nobody is trying to take anyone's contraception away, but this bill would insert the federal government into those deeply personal decisions between patients and their doctors. Furthermore, the bill would undermine the religious liberties of medical professionals and faith-based organizations. Democrats are concerned with furnishing fodder for attack ads, not solving problems for struggling American families, and that's why it's time for a change in Washington."
The Republican-led bill was introduced on July 19th.