Washington — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that the Senate will consider legislation next month to protect access to contraception, as reproductive rights come front and center heading into November’s election.

“Now more than ever, contraception is a critical piece of protecting women’s reproductive freedoms,” Schumer said from the Senate floor on Wednesday, adding that “Senate Democrats are committed to restoring women’s freedoms and will fight to protect access to contraception.”

The New York Democrat said the chamber would consider the legislation, called the Right to Contraception Act, in June. The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sens. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, would codify the right to contraception in federal law. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer takes a question from a reporter during a news conference following a Senate Democratic party policy luncheon on Capitol Hill on May 1, 2024 in Washington, DC.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer takes a question from a reporter during a news conference following a Senate Democratic party policy luncheon on Capitol Hill on May 1, 2024, in Washington, DC.

Andrew Harnik / Getty Images


Democrats have tried to put Republicans on the record over issues like IVF and contraception along with abortion after it became a major motivator for voters at the polls in the midterm elections. 

In 2022, the House approved the contraception legislation shortly after the Supreme Court rolled back the constitutional right to abortion, prompting concern that birth control could be next. At the time, a small group of Republicans joined with the then-Democratic majority to propel the legislation to passage. But it faced headwinds in the Senate. 

Even with a stronger Democratic majority in the upper chamber now, the bill is still expected to fall short. But the vote will force Republicans to go on the record on the issue heading into the election. 

The announcement came a day after former President Donald Trump told CBS News Pittsburgh that he was considering whether to support restrictions on contraception, before quickly walking back the comments. He said in a subsequent social media post that he has never advocated for restricting contraceptives and never will.