Mucarsel-Powell Blames 'Extremist' Rick Scott for Failed Contraception Bill, Expected-to-Fail IVF Bill

Mucarsel-Powell Blames 'Extremist' Rick Scott for Failed Contraception Bill, Expected-to-Fail IVF Bill

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
June 7, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In her bid to unseat incumbent Senator Rick Scott, Democratic candidate Debbie Mucarsel-Powell delivers a biting response to the "extremist" lawmaker after he voted down a bill promising nationwide contraception access.

"Keeping Radical Rick in the Senate for six more years will put access to contraception on the line for decades to come – threatening the lives of countless women and stripping away our fundamental rights," Mucarsel-Powell, a strong advocate for reproductive freedom, said in a statement sent to The Floridian.

"Today, Rick Scott proved once again that he couldn’t care less about Floridians’ freedoms and safety, and that’s exactly why they will fire him in November.”

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate took up the Democratic-backed Right to Contraception Act, which would protect the nationwide sale and use of contraceptives like birth control, Plan B pills, condoms, or IUDs. In a 51-39 vote—needing 60 votes to move forward—it failed, an occurrence that Scott predicted mere hours before the vote.

"We're doing contraception this week which has no chance of passing, and we're doing IVF next week which has no chance of passing," he told reporters, explaining that while he and other Republicans support contraception and IVF treatments—a bill looking to ensure nationwide access to IVF will be taken up next week—he believed these bills to be unnecessary.

"Contraception is legal everywhere and IVF is legal everywhere. I support contraception, but this bill is going to require all schools including public schools to provide contraception to, you know, six-year-olds—that's crazy," he claimed, though the bill text does not mention placing contraceptives in schools or around children.

Congresswoman Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) agreed, telling The Floridian that the contraception bill is nothing more than "political messaging before an election" in which conservatives are accused of being "anti-women".

"That's a total farce. I personally don't take contraceptives, but I also think it's a stupid discussion to even have: let people decide if they want to get birth control," she said, insinuating that the bill would result in contraceptives existing in a more in-your-face type of environment.

The contraception bill was borne from fears surrounding Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' concurring opinion in the 2022 Dobbs case, which overturned the nationwide abortion protections offered by Roe v. Wade.

Thomas wanted his fellow justices to "reconsider" past cases legalizing same-sex sexual activity and same-sex marriage and—crucial to this year's contraceptive bill—the 1965 Griswold case allowing contraceptive access for married couples.

No other justice joined in his opinion, though Democrats immediately began to push for nationwide laws protecting contraception, reproductive rights, and—more recently—IVF treatments, though Congress has yet to pass any.

Slated for next week, the in vitro fertilization bill guaranteeing nationwide access to the procedure sprang from the Alabama Supreme Court deciding that IVF embryos are "extra-uterine children", opening up questions of whether or not lab-created embryos would be guaranteed the same rights as a living child.

Since the February decision, 13 other states introduced or were in the process of debating so-called fetal personhood bills that critics worried could threaten IVF procedures. Florida was one such state, though soon after the Alabama decision the bill died before reaching the Floor.

After statewide clamor over potential frivolous lawsuits against doctors who discard unused embryos—as is currently customary—Republican Governor Kay Ivey signed legislation protecting IVF providers from legal repercussions, NBC reported.

“Extremists like Rick Scott won’t stop at radical abortion bans that threaten health care providers with jail time and put women’s lives at risk – now they are going after our access to IVF and contraceptives like birth control too," Mucarsel-Powell said.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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