Hobby Lobby Fix Bill Introduced in Senate

July 9, 2014 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) today introduced legislation that would restore the contraceptive coverage guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act. The bill was introduced in response to last week’s Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood V. Burwell, which found that closely held corporations can opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement if they determine it is incompatible with their religious beliefs.

“We all have the right to our religious beliefs, but religious freedom does not include the right to impose your beliefs on others,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. “The Court’s decision last week was unprecedented and disappointing, but this fight is far from over. This bill will stop bosses from imposing their religious beliefs on their employees and ensure that all women have access to contraception guaranteed to them by law.”

Representatives Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) are introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act bars employers from refusing to cover any health coverage—including contraceptive coverage—guaranteed to their employees and dependents under federal law. It is also states that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not allow employers to refuse to comply with federal law guaranteeing coverage of specific health care.

The American Civil Liberties Union, religious organizations, other civil rights and women’s health groups, business leaders, and members of Congress filed friend-of-the-court briefs in both Supreme Court cases.

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