Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has scheduled a vote this week on a bill that would reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.
The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act would restore the contraceptive coverage that is guaranteed in the Affordable Care Act and would protect women from employers who want to impose their religious beliefs on them.
Co-sponsor of the bill Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said, “This bicameral legislation will ensure that no CEO or corporation can come between people and their guaranteed access to health care, period. I hope Republicans will join us to revoke this court-issued license to discriminate and return the right of Americans to make their own decisions, about their own health care and their own bodies.”
Co-sponsor Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) said, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision opened the door to unprecedented corporate intrusion into our private lives. Coloradans understand that women should never have to ask their bosses for a permission slip to access common forms of birth control or other critical health services,” said Senator Udall. “My common-sense proposal will keep women’s private health decisions out of corporate board rooms, because your boss shouldn’t be able to dictate what is best for you and your family.”
Senate Democrats probably won’t have the votes needed to move the bill forward on Wednesday. Democrats will require five Republicans to join them in order to break a GOP filibuster. It is doubtful that Democrats can attract the kind of support they need to advance the bill from the other side of the aisle, but it is important that they try.
Since the Hobby Lobby decision many have adopted a defeatist attitude that nothing can be done, but this is not true. A Democratic congress could easily reverse the Supreme Court’s decision with new legislation. Republicans won the battle, but they have not won the war. Democrats need to be energized, not defeated. The only way that those who wish to steal fundamental rights from women will win is if their opponents stop fighting.
The bill that will be voted on this week is the first step in that fight. Because of Republican obstruction progress is difficult, but it will be achieved if those who are opposed to this decision keep trying. Instead of throwing in the towel and admitting defeat congressional Democrats are gearing up for a fight, because the war on women is something that Republicans will never win.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association