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  • Writer's pictureArizona Senate Democrats

Sundareshan, Stahl-Hamilton moves to force a vote on the Arizona Right to Contraception Act blocked by every Legislative Republican

 

Senator Priya Sundareshan

Legislative District 18

Representative Stephanie Stahl-Hamilton

Legislative District 21


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

February 14, 2024


PHOENIX - The Arizona Right to Contraception Act, SB1362 and HB2678, were never given a hearing by the Republican majority in committee. Today, the Senate and House Democratic Caucuses moved to force a vote on these mirror bills, which were opposed by every Senate and House Republican member. The right to contraceptives is broadly supported by a majority of American-- Republicans refusal to give these bills a vote shows how deeply their plan to upend reproductive rights runs in Arizona.


Senator Priya Sundareshan (LD18), the Senate Sponsor of the Arizona Right to Contraception Act, said in support of the bill as Republicans failed the rules votes, "I dropped the Right to Contraceptive Act in the Senate to protect the future of our children and their ability to make their own healthcare decisions. It is deeply disappointing that this bill never got placed on a committee agenda but today we can right that wrong and vote on it now.


Democrats, in Arizona and across the country, unequivocally support safeguarding the right to contraception, reflecting our deep commitment to your personal autonomy and right to privacy. We're dedicated to ensuring these choices stay between you and your healthcare provider, with no interference from the government.


Seeing all the red on this board requires that I ask: Was all that talk about protecting contraceptives a lie? If this body won't vote to protect contraceptives now, then we know exactly what their sights are set on next.


To all those watching today, please know: Democrats will not back down in defending every Arizonans' right to choose what is best for their family.


Today has shown that while Democrats are willing to try every avenue to protect your right to contraception and reproductive freedom, Republicans are willing to be a roadblock every single time."


Representative Stephanie Stahl-Hamilton (LD21), the House Sponsor of the Arizona Right to Contraception Act, was forced by House Rules to argue for hearing her bill without mentioning the bill's number, name or the word "contraception," under threat of being gaveled down. Here is a portion of what she was prepared to say, "Because there is not a Federal Law protecting the right to contraception, it can be taken away. Some states have already introduced bills that could take away basic contraception like IUDs.


This bill deserves a vote because contraception is also a cornerstone of healthcare, offering more than just pregnancy prevention. Democrats support reproductive freedom, and that means providing Arizonans the ability to control their future and how and when they choose to create their family. And the reality is, nearly every person in this state agrees with us...just not inside this chamber.


What a shame it is that a bill which simply states a person has the right to contraception -- something supported by more than 80 percent of people in the United States -- couldn't get a hearing this legislative session. I am honestly puzzled why we aren't at a bi-partisan bill-signing ceremony right now rather than trying to compel a floor vote against the wishes of Republicans. This is an issue that clearly spans the partisan divide and could have been an easy win for both parties and -- more importantly -- our people. But that's politics, I suppose.


In a moment like this, I am proud to stand with my caucus and wit hall Arizona families and individuals to defend their rights to make the healthcare decisions that are best for them without government interference."


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