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by
Bridget Johnson

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March 12, 2014 - 7:47 am

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who led the filing of a brief on behalf of Democratic senators in the Hobby Lobby case, said on the Senate floor yesterday that the case is not about freedom.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case, which challenges the Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate to offer contraceptive coverage, on March 25.

Murray called the case one “where a secular corporation, and its shareholders, are trying to get in between a woman and her health.”

“And just like the many attempts before this case, there are those out there who would like the American public to believe that this conversation is anything BUT an attack on women’s health care. To them, it’s a debate about ‘freedom,’ except of course the freedom for women to access care,” she said.

“It’s no different than when we are told that attacks on abortion rights aren’t an infringement on a women’s right to choose – they’re about religion or state’s rights. Or when we’re told that restricting emergency contraception isn’t about limiting women’s ability to make our own family planning decisions – it’s about protecting pharmacists. Or like just last week, when an Alaska state senator said he didn’t think there was a compelling reason for the government to ‘finance other people’s recreation’ in reference to contraception coverage in health care.”

Murray said “the truth is this is about contraception, this is an attempt to limit a women’s ability to access care, this is about women.”

“Allowing a woman’s boss to call the shots about her access to birth control should be inconceivable to all Americans in this day and age, and takes us back to a place in history when women had no voice or choice. In fact, contraception was included as a required preventive service in the Affordable Care Act on the recommendation of the independent, nonprofit Institute of Medicine and other medical experts because it is essential to the health of women and families. And after many years of research, we know ensuring access to effective birth control has a direct impact on improving the lives of women and families in America,” the senator continued.

“We have been able to directly link to declines in maternal and infant mortality, reduced risk of ovarian cancer, better overall health outcomes for women, and far fewer unintended pregnancies and abortions—which is a goal we all should share. But what’s at stake in this case before the Supreme Court is whether a CEO’s personal beliefs can trump a woman’s right to access free or low-cost contraception under the Affordable Care Act.”

Murray said she hopes the court would not allow “for-profit, secular, corporations or their shareholders to deny female employees’ access to comprehensive women’s health care, under the guise of a ‘religious exemption.’”

“It’s as if we’re saying that because you are a CEO or shareholder in a corporation, your rights are more important than your employees who happen to be women,” she said. “That is a slippery slope that could lead to employers cutting off coverage for childhood immunizations—if they object to the idea…pre-natal care for children born to unmarried parents—if they thought that was wrong…or blocking an employee’s ability to access HIV treatment.”

Sens. David Vitter (R-La.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) filed an amicus brief in support of Hobby Lobby.

“The ability to practice the faith we choose is one of our great Constitutional rights. The Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate stomps on that right,” said Vitter.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
The government has gotten between millions of women and their health by stealing the insurance policies that worked for them, leaving them with no insurance or with policies that don't cover their actual treatment, or with policies that cost twice as much, so they have less money to buy health-promoting food.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
You mean Hobby Lobby executives have placed barricades and armed guards around every pharmacy in the country? That's terrible! They have no right block women's access to birth control...oh...wait. Patty Murray means that Hobby Lobby just doesn't want to pay for birth control pills. My bad.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
What garbage. The Hobby Lobby people are very religious; there's no "guise" of anything. There's also no " restriction" of anything, except in the sense of if you don't pay for my hamburger you are infringing on my right to have a hamburger.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (36)
All Comments   (36)
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Who knew! Hobby Lobby stands between their employees and their employees contraceptives. Oh wait they don't. Their employees are free to buy whatever contraceptive they choose.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Senator" patty murray? is there no one so stupid as to not be electable to the u.s. senate?
interesting use of the word "inconceivable" when it comes to preventing conceiving. If only abortion-on-demand was available to the libs back when they conceived these losers.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
GK Chesterton once said that "birth control" has very little to do with birth or control.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
So now this mentally challenged woman has appointed herself High Priestess of the Entire World and gets to decide what are proper state sponsored religious beliefs and which are not.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
So the owners of Hobby Lobby want to risk their whole business, spend millions of dollars in legal fees, and go through all this trouble simply because they want to save a couple of dollars and be mean to women?

That does not make sense.

That they would risk their whole business and spend millions of dollars to defend their religious values?

That does make sense.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
What is a "secular" corporation anyway? Is this a new legal concept? It is my understanding that in the eyes of the Supreme court that all corporations were treated equally before the law. Will there now be law that allows corporations to be treated differently based on the philosophy of the owners or major shareholders? Also has Hobby Lobby ever called itself a "secular corporation" if such a thing exist legally? I have a lot of doubts about the legal claims the Democrats are making, they seem to be making things up just to make it through the next day.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
When assessing Murray's intellect and level of information, remember that she said people loved Osama bin Laden because he built schools and day care centers, one indication that she is not able to think about anything in any light other than the accustomed.

But her comments are revealing. Obvious no one is stopping anyone from accessing contraceptives; I think the prescription costs ten bucks a month at Target or Wal-Mart. But her assumption is that your employer is required to give you what you want and the federal government can and should make him do so.

This idea about the control the government should have over the operation of private business is correctly termed protofascist.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why is Woody Allen so concerned with Hobby Lobby?…oh wait, that’s Patty Murray.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
The government has gotten between millions of women and their health by stealing the insurance policies that worked for them, leaving them with no insurance or with policies that don't cover their actual treatment, or with policies that cost twice as much, so they have less money to buy health-promoting food.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I remember when Democrats where claiming it was "censorship" if a government agency chose not to spend taxpayers' money on some obscene or profane piece of tripe parading as art.

Now the Dems claim that employers are "denying access to birth control" or "imposing their beliefs on their employees" if they prefer to allow women (and the men in their lives) to buy contraceptives with cash instead of funneling the cost through "insurance" first (and thereby increasing it).

Dems also believe that David Koch is displaying his hostility to "affordable health care" by funding another new hospital wing.

Dem-thought is insane.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Koch gave $100,000,000 to a hospital to build a new wing, but of course, conservatives are uncaring and don't help people.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Patty Melt is attempting a master bait and switch. Government is "secular" and by association, so is she because she is part of the ruling secularist regime. Hobby Lobby is standing on religious principle by refusing to pay homage to the false god of government. People in Washington might want to take this into account given this communist sow is up for election in 2016.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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