WASHINGTON – Two Democratic senators introduced a bill yesterday that would reverse last week’s historic Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision and force all corporations to provide abortion-inducing drugs to their employees.
As previously reported, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision last week that the federal government cannot force closely-held companies to obey regulations which violate the owners’ religious beliefs. The ruling was a victory for the Christian owners of Hobby Lobby, who objected to President Obama’s abortion pill mandate on the basis of their religious beliefs.
Although the Hobby Lobby decision was seen as a historic legal victory for religious freedom, many liberals and Democratic lawmakers are upset that some companies are no longer required to provide abortion drugs for their employees.
“This decision is going to continue to cause problems and not a solution,” alleged one online commenter. “I see multitudes of lawsuits and filings by others for their ‘religious freedom.’ The few will stop the rights of the many using religious freedom as their excuse. This activist Supreme Court has opened Pandora’s box and it’s going to get just plain ugly.”
To counter the Hobby Lobby decision, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced a bill yesterday which would largely reverse the effects of last week’s Supreme Court ruling.
“After five justices decided last week that an employer’s personal views can interfere with women’s access to essential health services, we in Congress need to act quickly to right this wrong,” Murray said in a statement yesterday. “This bicameral legislation will ensure that no CEO or corporation can come between people and their guaranteed access to health care, period.”
Murray strongly condemned the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, describing it as a “court-issued license to discriminate.”
In a similar statement, Udall warned that the court ruling had “opened the door to unprecedented corporate intrusion into our private lives.”
Other pro-abortion lobbyists have already endorsed the bill, which is officially titled the “Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act.” One of those supporters is Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards.
“As the nation’s leading advocate for women’s reproductive health care, Planned Parenthood Action Fund is committed to making sure women can get the no-copay birth control benefit that we and others fought so hard to pass and protect,” Richards proclaimed. “No woman should lose access to birth control because her boss doesn’t approve of it.”
Despite the support from pro-abortion advocates, many others believe that the bill is unnecessary and argue that—unlike religious freedom—employer-funded abortion drugs are not a constitutionally-protected “right.”
“Hobby Lobby provides birth control pills along with 15 other contraceptives. They just don’t provide 4 that cause abortions after the fact,” one commenter pointed out. “The news media and the left is trying to make it seem as though Hobby Lobby was not providing any methods of birth control for their employees, which is a lie.”
“How are the owners of Hobby Lobby stopping any of their employees from making their own medical decisions?” another commenter asked. “The Supreme Court merely ruled that government cannot force people to pay for contraceptive methods they are morally opposed to.”
“The Constitution guarantees religious freedom,” a third commenter stated. “Not contraceptives paid for by someone else.”