Newsom Blames Republicans For Contraception Bill Failure: ‘It’s Outrageous’

By: Alex Trent | Published: Jun 07, 2024

California Governor Gavin Newsom offered a strong rebuke to Republicans in the US Senate after a bill to establish a right to contraception failed to get the 60 required votes to advance.

In the video statement on X, Newsom lambasted Republicans for not living up to their ideals as the ‘Party of Freedom.’

Senate Bill

On Wednesday, the United States Senate held a vote on a bill called the Right to Contraception Act which would establish federal protections and guarantee a right to access forms of contraception for Americans, among other provisions.

A close up look at part of the US capitol building in Washington D.C.

Source: Ian Hutchinson/Unsplash

The bill was sponsored and pushed by Democrats, who are scrambling to protect reproductive rights in the wake of the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade and state court decisions restricting IVF.


Democrats Worried

In an interview with MSNBC following the failed vote, Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren expressed the motivation for trying to get legislation like this passed.

Elizabeth Warren holding a microphone.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

“We saw what the Supreme Court did on abortion, and now there’s a real risk they may do the same thing on contraception,” Warren said. “I’m really sick of this idea that the Republicans think they can say two things simultaneously — they can talk to their extremist group and say, ‘I’ll give you everything you want. We are going to ban abortion, IVF, contraception, everything you want,’ and then try to say to the rest of America, ‘Boy, we don’t want any part in that.’”

Biden Response

President Joe Biden reacted to the failure of the bill to pass in the Senate and detailed his frustration with Republicans for holding up his party’s agenda.

Joe Biden speaks into a microphone whiles sitting in a chair.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

“This is the second time since the Supreme Court’s extreme decision to overturn Roe v. Wade that Congressional Republicans have refused to safeguard this fundamental right for women in every state. It’s unacceptable,” Biden said.

Sentiments Echoed

Newsom in his video post on X repeated the sentiments shared by his Democrat party members in the Senate.

Governor Gavin Newsom, in a dark suit, is captured from behind, gesturing while giving a speech at a podium

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

“Republicans just killed legislation to protect access to birth control in the US Senate. First, they went after abortion. Then IVF. Now this. It’s outrageous,” wrote Newsom above his video statement.

Republicans at It Again

The California governor opens the video by framing a common narrative Democrats are hoping to use against Republicans in the upcoming election: that Republicans are repeatedly standing in the way of people’s reproductive choices.

Illustration of Democrat donkey in blue and Republican elephant in red going head to head

Source: iStock

“Well, in case you missed this. Republicans are at it again. Republicans in the U.S. Senate just blocked a bill that would have protected access to birth control across the country. After overturning Roe, the so-called ‘Party of Freedom’ has repeatedly blocked efforts to help women access IVF, birth control, and abortion,” Newsom said.


Not Going Back

Newsom accused Republicans of trying to take us back to a time when people did not have as many rights and protections, framing them as the people standing in the way of a freer America. He also took the opportunity to promote California as a place for people to come and experience the freedom they are missing out on.

California Governor Gavin Newsom is pictured speaking at a podium with the Seal of the Governor of California. He is dressed in a blue suit and tie, gesturing with his right hand. Flanking him on both sides are the United States flag and the California state flag

Source: CAgovernor/X

“While the GOP tries to take us back to a pre-1960s world, California is proud to provide comprehensive protections for contraceptives as well as reproductive health care. We will never stop fighting for you and your right to control your body and your future,” Newsom said.


Republican Opposition

Republicans are rejecting the framing of the issue by Democrats and Newsom, and argue that like a lot of legislation in Washington, there was more to the bill than just what it was advertised to be.

Joni Ernst smiles in her official portrait for US Congress.

Source: public domain/Wikimedia

“[The bill goes] “far beyond the scope of providing access to contraception,” said Senate Republican Joni Ernst. Ernst asserted the bill would start a precedent to “mandate access to abortion drugs for women and girls of all ages.”


Reaction to Newsom’s Post

As is typical with posts by the governor, there were many negative reactions calling Newsom out. The post by Newsom has nearly as many comments as likes on X, a typical sign that a post is controversial.

Governor Gavin Newsom speaking at a public event, gesturing with his hand, wearing a baseball cap and a navy blue jacket. The California state seal is visible on a podium in front of him

Source: CAgovernor/X

“They are blocking “tax payer” funded contraception.  Want freedom … buy your own contraceptions with your money,” said one X user.


Pushing Against the Narrative

Users in reaction to the post sought to push against the narrative that Republicans stand in the way of all these reproductive procedures and contraception measures.

Donald Trump is captured mid-gesture with his right hand raised, speaking at an event. He is wearing a dark suit with a white shirt and a bright blue tie

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

“IVF is supported by President Trump. Birth control is paid for by insurance company of course you can buy your own $9 condoms at CVS. What Republicans shot down was government funded abortions. Also IVF is $13-16,000 per session. Some insurance covers it but it should not be tax payers paying for it. You’re a gaslighter,” said an X user in response to Newsom.


Focus on California

Some criticized Newsom for his willingness to comment on a national issue when his critics feel he has failed Californians at home and should be more focused on solving those problems instead.

A homeless camp seen in San Jose, California.

Source: Викидим/Wikimedia

“Sir…you’re the Governor of CA…focus on issues at home before fighting what happens in DC,” wrote X user Nate Harderlie.


Future For the Bill

Now that the bill has failed in the Senate without managing to get a single Republican to vote for it, it might be dead in the water. Republicans have accused Democrats of knowing how it would go, and that it was merely a show vote for election points.

A person in a light blue dress shirt using a pen to write on paper.

Source: Scott Graham/Unsplash

“This is a show vote. It’s not serious. It doesn’t mean anything. And, plus, it’s a huge overreach. It doesn’t make any exceptions for conscience, it creates mandates,” said Republican Senator John Cornyn. “It’s a phony vote because contraception, to my knowledge, is not illegal. And to suggest that somehow it’s in jeopardy, I think, should be embarrassing.”