The Spectacle Blog

Senate Democrats Already Trying to Overturn Hobby Lobby

By on 7.9.14 | 4:47PM

Reeling over the loss of the recent Hobby Lobby ruling by the Supreme Court, birth control and abortifacient advocates across the country are clamoring for legislation to overturn the decision. This morning, many on the left rejoiced when Democrats in the Senate announced their intention to adopt a measure to force companies to forgo religious objections and pay for abortifacients.

According to Talking Points Memo:

Senate Democrats are poised to introduce legislation as early as Tuesday to reverse the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling which exempted for-profit corporations with religious owners from the Obamacare mandate to cover emergency contraceptives in their insurance plans.

The legislation, introduced by Democratic Senators Patty Murray of Washington and Mark Udall of Colorado:

…clarifies that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the basis for the Supreme Court's ruling against the mandate, and all other federal laws don't permit businesses to opt out of the Obamacare requirement.

The legislation also puts the kibosh on legal challenges by religious nonprofits, like Wheaton College, instead declaring that the accommodation they're provided under the law is sufficient to respect their religious liberties.

Religious freedom be damned.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was introduced by Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer in 1993. It passed the Senate in a 97-3 vote; Murray herself voted for it, and President Clinton signed into law. It seems Democrats were for religious freedom before they were against it. This looks like the worst kind of political expediency to gin up the old “War on Women,” despite the White House’s own war on women’s pay.

Despite this legislative push, the fact is a majority of Americans do not care about this issue, which has been the norm for several years. According to Gallup, since 2001, the economy and jobs have been at the top of the list of issues Americans care about. Since Reid has become majority leader, about 50 percent of respondents have named it their top priority, while things like abortion and birth control are at less than 0.5 percent.

Maybe Senator Reid and his allies in the Senate, including Udall who is in a tight race for reelection, should start focusing on real economic issues rather than pandering to a small, militant minority.

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