Trump May Have Back-Tracked But The GOP Has Supported Restricting Contraceptives For Years

PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - APRIL 12: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) hold a press conference at Mr. Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on April 12, 2024,... PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - APRIL 12: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) hold a press conference at Mr. Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on April 12, 2024, in Palm Beach, Florida. They spoke about "election integrity," which has been one of the former president's top issues. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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In a Tuesday interview, former President Donald Trump said he was “looking at” restrictions on contraceptives, adding that he thinks it’s “a smart decision.” Later that day he completely reversed his earlier statement in an all-caps Truth Social post. 


His campaign also later clarified that the 2024 candidate thought he was discussing abortion medication. 

But regardless of how swiftly Trump and his team backtracked on the remarks, the idea of restricting or even banning contraceptives is not a new platform for Republicans.

Many in the Republican Party elevated the idea of restricting access to birth control as the next front in the religious right’s war on reproductive rights after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in the summer of 2022 — and some even before that. 

Most are often publicly quiet about their support for restrictions as it is widely considered a losing strategy — supported by polling data and Republican strategists themselves — for the upcoming elections.

In a clear bid to get Republicans trying to restrict access to contraceptives on the record ahead of the 2024 election and in the wake of Trump’s birth control fumble, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is reportedly planning to soon fast-track a Senate vote on a bill that would protect access to contraception nationwide. The bill, The Right to Contraception Act, is expected to be filibustered by Republicans in the closely divided Senate — but Schumer’s effort would force Republicans to go on record with their opposition.

Until that happens, here is a list of lawmakers who have publicly supported restricting birth control access:

(Majority Of) House Republicans

In 2022, the Democratic-controlled House brought the same contraception bill Schumer is proposing to the House floor for a vote. All but eight Republicans opposed the legislation that would’ve enshrined the right to access birth control nationwide. That’s a total of 195 House Republicans. 

Even though the bill passed the House with the support of all 220 Democrats, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) blocked the legislation when Senate Democrats sought unanimous consent to pass the bill in the upper chamber. It was around the same time that Senate Republicans blocked the advancement of a measure that would’ve granted federal protections to IVF, as Democrats in both chambers sought to protect reproductive treatments and medications left vulnerable by Roe’s overturning. 

House Speaker Mike Johnson 

The Louisiana Republican was one of the House Republicans who voted against the bill to protect the right to contraception two years ago. But his campaign to restrict access to birth control began long before his time in office.

In November 2013, while he worked as a lawyer challenging the Department of Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate, Johnson called certain types of contraception “abortifacient,” a common belief among some right-wing evangelicals. 

“The morning after pill, as we know, is an abortifacient,” he said at the Louisiana Right to Life Forum.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin

In May, the Virginia Governor vetoed a pair of joint bills guaranteeing the right to contraception in the state, a move that would have ensured the right for all Virginians if two landmark Supreme Court decisions protecting contraception, Griswold v. Connecticut and Eisenstadt v. Baird, were ever overturned.

The hard-right Republican instead proposed revising the bill with language that would merely express the idea that individuals have access to contraception under federal law. That, of course, would make the bills completely useless if those precedents were overturned.

Missouri And Idaho Republicans

Republican interest in restricting birth control and other contraceptives gets even more explicit when you look at the state legislature level. In 2021, Republicans in the Missouri legislature tried to ban common forms of contraceptives, like Plan B, and some intrauterine devices, or IUDs, from being paid for by the state’s Medicaid program.

“I believe life begins at conception,” Missouri state Sen. Paul Wieland, one of the conservative lawmakers who supported the amendment, told Stateline. “Anything that destroys that life is abortion, it’s not birth control. [I have] no problem with stopping sperm and egg from connecting, but when that does happen, that is life.”

The effort ultimately failed.

That same year, Idaho’s Republican-led legislature passed the No Public Funds for Abortion Act. The law prohibited state-funded student health centers from referring students or “promoting” abortion, and banned the dispensing of emergency contraceptives such as Plan B. 

That bill resulted in public universities, like University of Idaho and Boise State University, warning their staff not to refer students to abortion providers or tell them how to get emergency contraception because they could be charged with a felony, according to the Associated Press.

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Notable Replies

  1. The GOP, and Trump included, cannot cope with sex. No matter the aspect of sex, they freak out. Weird.

  2. Fat guy can’t be believed, and will just do whatever makes him feel good at the time.

  3. Avatar for docd docd says:

    One of the arguments that the GOP has against contraceptive medications is that they cause abortions. Perhaps the question is to ask him to clarify that he recognizes that they aren’t the same thing.
    It won’t matter when they decide to do it since logical consistency isn’t important to the GOP, but it should be an interesting answer.

  4. Avatar for tao tao says:

    In a time of exponential population growth, it’s hard to think of anything more suicidally stupid than opposing birth control. There it is.: Mango’s new Wall.

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