J.D. Vance Confronted on Republicans’ Push to Block Birth Control

Senator J.D. Vance, an Ohio Republican, was confronted by CNN host Jake Tapper on Sunday over Republicans’ push to block birth control.

With the Supreme Court‘s Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision that overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022 in which it ruled there is no constitutional right to an abortion, returning the issue to the state level, questions concerning access to contraceptives in the United States have increased. In some corners of the right, a push to block birth control can already be seen. In Iowa, the state attorney general’s office announced in April that it would suspend payments for emergency contraception for survivors of sexual assault. The medication had been funded through a program for crime victims, but the Republican attorney general is considering a permanent end to its provision.

Vance maintained his anti-abortion stance in an interview on Sunday with Tapper during a discussion about the medical procedure when he was asked about how voters may not trust Republicans when it comes to women’s reproductive rights.

While referencing the recent Texas Supreme Court case in which a woman’s abortion was temporarily blocked, Tapper asked, “Isn’t that situation an example of why many voters might not trust Republicans?”

J.D. Vance
Senator J.D. Vance, an Ohio Republican, is seen on Capitol Hill on May 16 in Washington, D.C. Vance was confronted by CNN host Jake Tapper on Sunday over Republicans’ push to block birth control.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

“I think we have to win the trust back of the American people, and one of the ways to do that is to be the truly pro-family party,” Vance said.

Tapper then asked: “Is birth control part of that policy, empowering women to be able to make those decisions before they get pregnant?”

“I don’t think that I know any Republican, at least not a Republican with a brain that’s trying to take those rights away from people, but I think it goes deeper than that,” Vance replied.

However, Tapper interrupted by stating he could provide a list of Republicans that are. In response, Vance said, “Well, okay,” while insisting he did not talk to those Republicans.

Newsweek has reached out to Vance via email for comment.

Vance’s comments come after Ohio became the seventh state in which voters decided to protect abortion access in November. Statewide initiatives in California, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana and Vermont have either affirmed abortion access or rejected attempts to undermine the right.

Ohio’s constitutional amendment, on the ballot as Issue 1, specifically declared an individual’s right to “make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions,” including birth control, fertility treatments and abortion. It allowed the state to regulate the procedure after fetal viability, as long as exceptions were provided for cases in which a doctor determined the life or health of the woman was at risk.

In response to Ohio’s recent abortion vote, Vance took to X, formerly Twitter, in November and wrote, “For pro lifers, last night was a gut punch. No sugar coating it. We have to recognize how much voters mistrust us (meaning elected Republicans) on this issue. Having an unplanned pregnancy is scary. Best case, you’re looking at social scorn and thousands of dollars of unexpected medical bills. We need people to see us as the pro-life party, not just the anti-abortion party.”

Meanwhile, other Republicans have continued to state their views on contraception.

In June before the Wisconsin State Assembly voted 82-11 in a bipartisan fashion to allow statewide pharmacists to prescribe contraceptive patches and self-administered oral hormonal contraceptives without a doctor’s prescription, Wisconsin state Representative Chuck Wichgers, one of the 11 Republicans who voted against the bill, said contraception leads to infidelity, a “proliferation of STDs,” and is unnatural.

More recently, with Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, being elected as House speaker, some critics have also pointed to his far-right conservative views as another barrier for contraceptives as Johnson was previously accused on Fox News of being “wildly out of step” with a majority of Americans on birth control.

In addition his previous efforts in implementing anti-abortion laws and restricting access to contraception remain significant for critics as he voted against the Right to Contraception Act, which would protect access to birth control. It was passed in the House in July 2022.