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Saturday, July 13, 2024 - 10:28 AM

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

First Published in 1994

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF
UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

Congress Takes Up Broad Bills on Marriage and Contraception

Congress Takes Up Broad Bills on Marriage and Contraception

Since the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade, Democrats have been in a tizzy. Not only have they tried to codify Roe into law, but they are also fearmongering about other issues such as same-sex marriage and access to contraception.

When the Supreme Court ruled on Dobbs, the majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito and joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett explicitly stated that it should not be “misunderstood or mischaracterized . . . [to] cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.” This signaled that a majority of the Court did not have an appetite to entertain the notion of overturning other precedents at this time.

Although Justice Thomas agreed with overturning Roe, he felt that it could have implications on other precedents. He then issued his own concurring opinion. He stated:

…in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. Because any substantive due process decision is “demonstrably erroneous,” …we have a duty to “correct the error” established in those precedents…

Of course, House Democrats used that excuse to begin pushing through unnecessary bills through Congress this week.

The first bill that moved through the House this week was the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404) which repeals the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA recognized marriage as between one man and one woman and protected states’ refusals in marrying same-sex couples. In 1996, DOMA passed by a 342-67 vote with 118 Democrats voting in favor. Fast-forward to this week when the Respect for Marriage Act passed the House by a 267-157 vote with a whopping 47 Republicans voting in favor. How times (and party principles) have changed.

Even though the 2014 Obergefell v. Hodges decision mandated all states to recognize same-sex marriage, the ruling contained a religious carveout to protect religious leaders and institutions from being forced to marry same-sex couples or hire individuals in same-sex relationships that may contradict the institution’s sincerely held beliefs. H.R. 8404 has no such carveout and would be disastrous for religious freedom.

The second bill is the Right to Contraception Act (H.R. 8373) which forces all medical professionals to dispense contraceptive drugs regardless of their beliefs. Not only is this in response to Dobbs, but also to Justice Thomas’s remarks about reconsidering the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut case that allowed married couples to use contraceptives without interference from the government. Much has changed since that ruling though.

Now, the left has expanded the term “contraception” to include abortion-inducing drugs. Pills such as RU-486, Plan B, and mifepristone were only created within the last few decades to terminate a pregnancy. Some pharmacies have refused to dispense those drugs because of their beliefs. However, Democrats have threatened to pull funds from over 60,000 pharmacies who refuse to comply with their political ideology.

H.R. 8373 continues this threat by violating the religious freedoms of individuals. Not only would pharmacies be at risk, but also any religious institution that does not agree with dispensing or paying for certain contraceptives would be forced to contradict their morals. Because of previous Supreme Court wins that paired down the contraceptive mandate in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell and Little Sister of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania, we hope that this clear violation of our Constitutional rights would not stand in court. 

Eagle Forum scored against both the Respect for Marriage Act and the Right to Contraception Act. We will alert you if either bill is taken up in the Senate.