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Katie Britt says Democrats' contraception bill tramples on foundational religious liberty protections

On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Alabama) blasted Democrats' contraception bill as more "scare tactics" on the part of Senate Democrats.

Britt's remarks were made during a floor speech ahead of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York)'s controversial decision to bring the partisan Right to Contraception Act bill for a vote that is scheduled for Wednesday, June 5.

Britt accused Democrats of waging a deliberate "Summer of Scare Tactics" messaging campaign to aid them in their bid to elect Democrats and keep control of the U.S. Senate and re-elect Biden.

Britt maintained that this false fearmongering is a purely political exercise aimed at confusing and misleading voters ahead of November.

Senator Britt said that she continues to lead Senate Republicans in supporting women, strengthening families, and building a comprehensive culture of life through efforts including the MOMS Act and the IVF Protection Act.

"This week, my colleagues across the aisle will start their 'Summer of Scare Tactics," Britt charged. "Unfortunately, this is continuing the campaign of fearmongering we've already seen. Contraception is available in every state across the nation. And, of course, I want to be absolutely, 100% clear, that I support continued nationwide access to contraception. But that's not the purpose of the bill my colleagues across the aisle are bringing to the floor on Wednesday."

"Once again, the bill tramples on foundational religious liberty protections that have long been bipartisan – and truly should remain bipartisan," said Britt. "And my colleagues across the aisle know that. The goal of my Democrat colleagues right now is to scare the American people, to scare women across our great nation."

"It's not that they believe there is a problem they're truly trying to solve," said Britt. "They're prioritizing their own short-term partisan political interests. Sadly, this only does a disservice to the very families and the very women we should be trying to find common ground to help. We saw the false fearmongering with the MOMS Act. We've already seen it with issues like IVF. Just like with nationwide access to contraception, I want to make it clear that Republicans support continued nationwide access to IVF."

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is urging the Senate to oppose the Right to Contraception Act in its upcoming floor vote due to the implications it poses for both the protection of preborn life and existing religious liberty safeguards.

This bill explicitly includes a "carveout" from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The near-unanimous passage of RFRA in 1993 by Congress enshrined legislative protections for religious liberty into federal law.

Additionally, the bill creates a "fundamental" right to contraception, preempts state laws restricting access to contraception, including abortive methods of contraception, and makes it possible for any abortifacient to be automatically protected if the regulatory agency classified it as a "contraceptive."

Brent Leatherwood is the President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).

"Instead of creating new mechanisms to undermine the religious liberty of employers, of government employees, and of individuals seeking to live out their deeply-held beliefs, I encourage our policymakers to pass legislation that protects life, serves mothers, and allows American citizens to continue to faithfully live out their beliefs," said Leatherwood.

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the Southern Baptist Convention's ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency.

Katie Britt was elected to the Senate in 2022.

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