Dems go on offense protecting women’s health

Senate Dems propose “Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act"
Democrats in the U.S. Senate are planning to wield the Supreme Court’s unpopular Hobby Lobby decision as a club against Republicans, and the fight begins Wednesday with the introduction of the “Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act.”

The bill, one of at least three being prepared by Democrats, “ensures that employers cannot interfere in their employee’s decisions about contraception and other health services.” It says that all insurance plans – including those provided by for-profit corporations – must cover contraception, though it keeps the exemption for houses of worship and the “accommodation” for religious nonprofits.

The bill will be presented by Washington Sen. Patty Murray, who said, “Since the Supreme Court decided it will not protect women’s access to health care, I will.” Her co-author is Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, who is in a tight re-election race with a conservative personhood advocate — in a swing state with a personhood amendment* on its ballot.

The bill is not expected to survive in the Republican-controlled House, but it will serve to keep the contraception issue alive through the midterm elections in November. Republicans are expected to continue defending the Hobby Lobby decision as a victory for religious liberty while Dems defend women’s health rights and hope for more Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin debacles. Or maybe a rerun of Rick Santorum’s pearls of wisdom.

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*The so-called Brady Amendment was initiated by Heather Surovik, who lost her 8-month-old fetus in a car crash caused by a drunk driver. Pied Type covered the story in a discussion about what journalists and others should call an unborn baby.

 



Categories: abortion, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Election 2014, Health, Law, war on women

16 replies

  1. Ha. I was just coming to your site to link a NYT article about this topic, but (of course!) you’d already read it! 🙂 Anyway, I just hope more voters, especially women, will support candidates who advocate for women, choice and separation of church/state.

  2. Isn’t it odd that so many professed Christians have their shorts in a knot over protecting microscopic fertilized eggs and yet take up hate-language signs to expel busloads of real children?

  3. Ginsburg was right in her dissent, as the decision comes dangerously close to giving preference to one religion. If you make the exception for one religion (or sect of that religion), you must make it for all. For example, they would have to allow a corporation owned by Scientologists to refuse to cover psychiatric medications, or Christian Scientist-owned businesses to refuse to cover any medical intervention.
    From a financial perspective, the Guttmacher Institute found that unintended pregnancies (about half of all pregnancies in the U.S.) cost taxpayers $11 billion a year; two-thirds of those births are publicly funded. Add to that the evidence that unintended pregnancies tend to lead to worse health outcomes, and I think most rational people would agree that this stance is more than a little problematic.
    Of course, there’s the other option that the companies at issue could take but refuse to: Don’t provide insurance and pay the fine, which is less than the cost of the insurance. Use the difference to provide employees a raise and the option to find the insurance that works for them on the exchange. But that wouldn’t provide a political football … darn!

    • Yep, it’s an election year. We need those footballs.

      And then there’s the hypocrisy of being opposed to abortion, but opposing the most effective means of eliminating abortions.

    • Excellent points, blooper. You remind me of yet another aspect, the hidden costs of having an unwanted child, which are almost uncountable. Low self-esteem, psychological problems, crime, social burden on society, . . .

      Thus, Pied’s George Carlin quote, which is right on the mark.

      • Very true. And the four methods at issue in this case are not considered abortifacients by the FDA, rightly so, IMO. Allowing those methods can, in one fell swoop, help reduce abortions and those on public assistance.
        I’m a Christian, but I’m also a pragmatist, and I know how easy it is to roll over rights once a door is opened. This sets a horrible precedent.

  4. I thought the Hobby Lobby decision didn’t relieve its obligation to provide the 16 different drugs/devices listed in the ACA as “contraceptives.” My understanding was that only 4 “abortion” type (after conception) drugs/devices were affected.

    I think if I were a business owner whose moral principles were in-peril of being trashed, I’d just close up shop. Nobody has to provide jobs and benefits to anyone.

    • You’re correct. They only objected to 4 of 20 different drugs/devices. LIttle comfort to those women who need or want one of those 4. The 20 are not equivalent or interchangeable.

      Hobby Lobby objected to Plan B, Ella, and two IUDs, claiming they are abortifacients. Scientists and medical experts say they are not. Oddly enough, most people rely on doctors for their medical information, not Hobby Lobby.

      Hobby Lobby had trashed its own moral principles before they ever filed this suit. They invest in the companies that make the contraceptives they object to, and prior to filing the suit, they had provided coverage for those contraceptives for several years.

      • I agree with you about Hobby Lobby, but not with the notion that employees can dictate benefits. Negotiate, yes, dictate – no.

        • I had no intention of saying employees can or should dictate benefits. I don’t think they should. The employer offers a package of benefits; the employee accepts that package or goes elsewhere to work.

          In this case, it’s a matter of the government saying that employer insurance packages must contain certain minimum benefits and Hobby Lobby objecting to that. HL had the option to pay a penalty rather than provide the insurance, but they chose to file suit instead. As for whether the government should be dictating insurance requirements to employers and insurance companies … I have problems with that.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." ~ Edmund Burke

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