Democrats Seek to Restore Contraception Mandate

Senate Democrats aren’t taking last week’s Supreme Court ruling that exempts Hobby Lobby and other businesses that cite religious affiliation from the Obamacare contraception mandate lightly. And they are acting fast to shut down the ruling and restore the birth control requirement to cover female employees.

Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Udall (D-CO) unveiled the “Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act” Wednesday in an effort to override the Supreme Court ruling. The bill seeks to “restore the original legal guarantee that women have access to contraceptive coverage through their employment-based insurance plans and will protect coverage of other health services from employer interference as well.” It states that employers cannot refuse employees any form of health coverage, including contraceptive coverage, but it will include an exemption requirement for places of worship and the accommodation for religious non-profits.

More than 20 senators joined Murray and Udall to present this bill, which Dems believe “single out women’s health for discriminatory treatment” and lets companies “impose their religious beliefs on their employees.”

Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood said, “With this bill, Congress can begin to fix the damage done by the Supreme Court’s decision to allow for-profit corporations to deny their employees birth control coverage. The Supreme Court last week opened the door to a wide range of discrimination and denial of services. This bill would help close the door for denying contraception before more corporations can walk through it.”