Sonny Borrelli in front of contraceptive pills

Gage Skidmore/Flickr Adobe Firefly (CC-BY-SA)

Arizona Republicans voted not to codify protections for emergency contraception

Sonny Borelli and his fellow Arizona Republicans received immense backlash from the public nationwide.


Tricia Crimmins


Posted on Mar 20, 2024   Updated on Mar 20, 2024, 11:26 am CDT

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The Bill: 

Arizona Democrats in both the state House and Senate introduced the Right to Contraception act earlier this year. The bill would codify the right to use and buy contraceptives

It also would codify medical professionals’ right to provide information about and prescribe contraceptives to patients. Contraceptives, as defined by the bill, include condoms, birth control pills, emergency contraceptives (like Plan B), vaginal rings, and injectable birth control.

Both chambers are controlled by Republicans and the bill didn’t make it out of committee. When Democrats attempted to force a vote on the bill last week, every Republican in both chambers voted against doing so.

When asked about the bill, Arizona State Republican Senate Majority leader Sonny Borrelli said women should put aspirin between their legs, which many took as a statement about how women should be preventing pregnancy. It seems Borrelli was referring to a 2012 comment from GOP mega donor Foster Friess about how women should hold something between their knees to ensure that they don’t open them to have sex.

The Backlash: 

Borelli and his fellow Arizona Republicans received immense backlash from the public nationwide. Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs asked what state Republicans “have against allowing us to have control over our own bodies and access to basic health care,” and Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee president Heather Williams called Arizona GOP members “the extreme of the extreme.”  

And people are reacting on social media, too. One X user called the move to block a vote on the act “pure evil” and actor Nancy Lee Grahn called Borrelli “a raging, woman hating, inexcusable pig.”

Another X user tied the bill’s vote to larger trends within the Republican party.

“Reminder to all women, #maga  is not going to stop with abortion. Now they are taking away contraceptive rights,” they wrote. “Get ready for #handmaidstale.”

The Background: 

The Arizona vote block by state Republicans happened two days after a Texas court ruled family planning centers that are federally funded must get parental consent before prescribing contraceptives to teens. 

And though Borrelli said Arizona Republicans don’t plan on banning contraceptives, the state has passed legislation regarding emergency contraception before: Unlike emergency room protocol in 13 states and D.C., Arizona emergency room staff are not required to prescribe emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault—doctors and nurses must only provide information on it.

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*First Published: Mar 20, 2024, 6:00 am CDT