Reid: ‘Hobby Lobby’ Bill To Be Taken Up Next Week


Read more of our coverage on the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases here.

After calling the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case “certainly the worst in the last 25 years,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced on Thursday that the Senate will take up the Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act next week.

The bill, introduced by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Udall (D-CO), would prohibit employers from using the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) or any other federal law to keep their employees from accessing health-care coverage guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act.

Reid and others continued with the theme from yesterday that the Supreme Court gravely misinterpreted RFRA by using it to grant corporations religious rights.

“It is a horrible decision,” Reid said, adding that he was “disappointed” in Chief Justice John Roberts and felt the justice had “misdirected” senators during his confirmation hearings about whether he supported constitutional privacy rights.

“As the author of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, I can say with absolute certainty the Supreme Court got the Hobby Lobby case dead wrong,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY). The point of the law was to protect the religious freedoms of individuals from government interference, Schumer said, and people who are born into or convert to a religion are nothing like for-profit corporations that form voluntarily and benefit from the marketplace under U.S. laws.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) called Hobby Lobby a “direct violation” of the right to privacy granted by the Griswold v. Connecticut decision, which struck down laws prohibiting the sale of birth control.

Asked by a reporter whether the introduction of the bill was politically motivated, especially given Udall’s tough re-election fight, Reid noted Udall’s “exemplary record” on women’s health and said, “It would be political malpractice if we did not react the way we did dealing with this horrible decision.”

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  • fiona64

    “As the author of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, I can say with absolute certainty the Supreme Court got the Hobby Lobby case
    dead wrong,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY). The point of the law was
    to protect the religious freedoms of individuals from government
    interference, Schumer said, and people who are born into or convert to a
    religion are nothing like for-profit corporations that form voluntarily
    and benefit from the marketplace under U.S. laws.

    Right there is the crux of the matter. The pro-corporation Roberts court is clearly misusing its authority in this case.

    • Shan

      Do you really think it’s that active an evil sort of thing, i.e., abusing authority? Not just complete cluelessness? That’s what I tend to think, myself. Trying to not feel completely depressed, I guess…

      • lady_black

        Yes, I do believe it’s actively evil. They allowed their EVIL Catholic misogyny to override the intent of a law.

      • fiona64

        I had to think about this before answering. I think that these five men allowed their personal ideology to cloud their judgment. I do not know that this is what I would call “actively evil,” but I do think that it was judicial overreach.

  • Attila_L_Vinczer

    Another article with a single comment. My other new friend, 50 year old fiona.

    • kitler

      Child.

      • fiona64

        He is an angry little boy. Just ignore him.

  • Suba gunawardana

    “people who are born into or convert to a religion are nothing like for-profit corporations that form voluntarily and benefit from the marketplace under U.S. laws.”

    I don’t see much of a difference. Religion is almost ALWAYS used to subjugate & victimize others, regardless of whether the user is an individual or corporation.

    • Draven

      no it’s not, considering I am religious and I was taught by my religion to love all people (yes all) and to help others to the extent of giving them the shirt off my back, what you say I find offensive..
      You can not generalize a group of people based on the public actions of others. That would be stereotyping an entire group of people wrongly..

      and just because you said almost always does not make it any less worse of a statement..it is not almost always used to subjugate or victimize, if you have an opinion or you have seen things happen I would rather you say “in my experience” or “In my opinion” instead of treating every religious person as if they are horrid people..

      • Suba gunawardana

        It’s not my opinion but reality. Religion is directly or indirectly responsible for the vast majority of horrible things that happen today, and happened throughout the years. The crusades; inquisition; witch trials;
        stoning of rape victims; gay-bashing; institutionalized child abuse;
        ritualized animal abuse etc. etc. are just a few examples off the top of my
        head.

        And one doesn’t need to generalize based on the public actions of others either, considering the handbook Christianity specifically condones the subjugation of the weak for the sole benefit of the powerful.

        So I am interested to know what religion teaches you to love all, and what
        text that religion follows. Also, if it weren’t for religion, would you be a person without love or compassion?

        • Draven

          1. you speak as if religion is the only culprit for all the things you speak of. I don’t have any on hand examples, but that is Humanity, not just Christianity
          2. I don’t know what handbook of Christianity you read, but I read the Bible and the Bible does not condone the subjugation of the weak nor the benefit of the powerful..In fact last time I checked it does the exact opposite (last time being today since I read the Bible)
          3. As I just mentioned, I am a Christian and I was taught by the Bible and by others to love everyone regardless of what they believe in and to help people regardless of background (exempting people who currently murdered someone, they took a life and that is not something I can, as a Christian, condone). and the text we follow is the Bible..

          I don’t know what text you read, or what religious people you met. But from the sounds of things I wouldn’t call them real Christians..
          I would not know whether I would be a person without love or compassion, that would be considered the Unknown (something that did not happen therefore I can not know what would happen)..
          If I, my friends, my family, and others I know believe what I have just said (along with people in my area at the least in general). I do not see how you can just assume that religion is always used to subjugate or victimize others. How I was raised and taught that is entirely wrong..

          and for a final statement..I do not care about the majority, or the history. Like I said, I know of a large number that completely go against what you have said and I do not believe that you could know the majority does this if you do not know the majoirty..

          • Suba gunawardana

            Yes humanity is cruel by nature, but religion is the tool they use to
            excuse & justify that cruelty. If it weren’t for religion, how would
            people justify things like witch burning, gay bashing and stoning of rape victims?

            Yes the bible is exactly what teaches that the human male has dominion over all other individuals (women children and animals) and they all exist for the sole purpose of serving men. The real question is whether there are any sections at all in the bible which DON’T support that concept. Are there? I doubt it. If there are, they most certainly contradict the major part of the bible which
            shamelessly advocates the subjugation & victimization of all individuals who are not human males.

            Here’s a smattering of examples showing blatant sexism in the bible. As I’m sure you know, there’s plenty more.

            Corinthians 11:3
            But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God.

            Corinthians 11:7 – 9
            For a man indeed ought not to cover [his] head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
            For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
            Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

            Corinthians 14:34 – 35
            Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but [they are commanded] to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
            And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

            Ephesians 5:22 – 24
            Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
            For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
            Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] tot heir own husbands in every thing.

            And of course the famous excuse from Genesis used throughout the ages to use & abuse animals: Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

            So, if any Christian really practices love and compassion, that is DESPITE the teachings of the bible, not because of it. If the
            very texts of religion teach subjugation (as with the above examples, and there are many more) how can it be that people’s goodness is BECAUSE of religion? It can’t.

            Also, the fact that SOME religious people are nice doesn’t mean religion is nice. There are some Nazis who helped Jews. That doesn’t mean Nazism is good. Some KKK members might help the
            homeless. That doesn’t mean KKK is good.

            Many people have innate compassion, an innate sense of ethics. In many cases that remains IN SPITE OF religion.

          • JamieHaman

            Well Done!

          • kitler
  • blfdjlj

    Hobby Lobby is the worst decision in 25 years?

    Wow. I wouldn’t expect such exaggeration even from Reid.

    • disqus_ok9xndxFPu

      The implications are staggering, though. In Hobby Lobby the court specifically clarifies that only anti-BC objections are allowed, and those objections can exist even when there is a non-elective reason for the BC. Which means they are saying that religions that object to birth control are more valid under the law than religions that object to blood transfusions or psychiatry. Aka they just established a religion at the federal level. They INVALIDATED THE FIRST AMENDMENT. The fucking SCOTUS did.

      Or, let’s say they backtrack and allow any corporation’s religion to override what lawmakers have decided their responsibilities are. So now a corporation can claim that the Bible opposes taxation (which there is strong Biblical precedent for in many traditions), or minimum wage; or that they object to vaccination or black people or any form of insurance including malpractice insurance for doctors. Even keeping to closely-held corporations this has the potential to devastate the ability of the government to, well, govern.

      • Shan

        ” the court specifically clarifies that only anti-BC objections are allowed,”

        And from a suit that didn’t even have to be scientifically accurate in that the only methods of BC Hobby Lobby was objecting to were ones they *believed* caused their definition of an abortion. It’s so bad on so many levels.

  • fiona64

    So, yet another person comes in blathering in such a fashion as to demonstrate their ignorance of how compensation packages work! At least we got that straight!

    Which of your medical decisions should be made by your boss, Laura?

    • fiona64

      Reply to Laura, in moderation:

      Your answer was non-responsive. Which of your medical decisions should be made by your boss, Laura?

      Thank you, however, for demonstrating that you do not understand how compensation packages work. Allow me to explain. Employers offer health insurance (not health care, good grief … do you really not know the difference?) in lieu of higher salary, and employees further pay a portion of the cost by payroll deduction. In other words, girl genius, employees EARN those benefits. The boss is not “paying for their reproductive choices.”

      Once again, though, I am compelled to ask why it is that anyone with a three-digit IQ and the ability to construct an intelligent, correctly punctuated sentence is suddenly considered “elitist.” Has this country really become so delighted at the idea of being ignorant?

      • Shan

        “Has this country really become so delighted at the idea of being ignorant?”

        In SO many ways. It’s depressing.

        • fiona64

          And she’s doubling down on her “anyone smarter than me is an elitist” nonsense. ::shrug:: I’m happy to leave her stupidity in moderation.

          • Shan

            Glad I didn’t see it, I guess.

        • fiona64

          Reply to Laura Stovall, still in moderation:

          You once again typed a whole lot of nonsense, and did not answer the simple question I asked: which of your medical decisions should be made by your boss?

  • lady_black

    Abortifacient drugs? What the hell are you babbling about? This has nothing to do with abortifacient drugs. And yes, exercising control over another person’s medical needs is pretty evil. Especially someone who’s basically a stranger to you.

  • lady_black

    In reply to your comment in moderation: No stranger is paying for anything. Insurance is something an employee earns, and overwhelmingly also contributes toward herself, via payroll deductions. No abortifacient drugs are included in the ACA. Abortifacient drugs are not a preventive health matter. Birth control is. But just in order to make you understand the implications, what if an employer said his religion included a belief that reproduction ought to be limited to replacement levels, therefore if you wanted a third child, you would be stuck with the entire bill yourself. Regardless of the fact that you are working to earn your insurance benefit, and paying a substantial portion of the premium out of your pocket? Would you believe the employer has any right to stick you with a $20K bill because of his religious beliefs when the law says maternity benefits must be covered?

  • lady_black

    Ah, MORE useless “advice” eh Laura??? “Forgo” employer offered insurance and sign up for insurance at an exchange? I might even be eligible for subsidies? YOU CAN’T DO THAT. And if you knew what you were talking about, you would know that. If your employer offers a policy, you cannot go get one on the exchange instead. Now, either look into the facts before barking, or just stop barking.

    • fiona64

      She is really good at demonstrating the depths of her ignorance, I’ll give her that.

      • fiona64

        Reply to completely ignorant “Laura,” still in moderation, who wrote FYI, you can switch employer coverage to ACA exchange

        Don’t make ignorant blanket statements, okay? It just makes you look even more stupid.

        https://www.healthcare.gov/what-if-i-have-job-based-health-insurance/

        There are a lot of factors involved, and most people with job-based insurance DO NOT qualify for ACA coverage.

        Oh, and “Laura”? The general public didn’t vote on the ACA. So, stop pretending that “the elitists here” did.

        Oh, and as for your jibe about my insurance? If you could read for comprehension (which, frankly, I doubt), you would see that the aforementioned tubal ligation was obtained *21 years ago,* long before the ACA. And the health insurance that I earned paid for it.

        Your implied argument that anyone who has health insurance is elitist is laughable.

        You’re an entertaining angry little whackadoodle, though, I’ll give you that.

        • fiona64

          Reply to Laura, still in moderation:

          Stick to things you understand, like being a shampoo girl. You only embarrass yourself when you are so far out of your depth.

    • JamieHaman

      Umm, yes, you can go on the exchange, if you don’t like what your employer offers, but you have to do that during an open enrollment period or a special enrollment period. What you generally can’t do is be subsidized.

      • lady_black

        This just isn’t true, Jamie. I looked into this earlier, and the website clearly says that to go to the exchanges, your employer-offered insurance must be both 1)substandard and 2) not affordable (of course, those things are not subjective, they have to make that decision). And then there’s the no-subsidies available thing. The fact is that 5×5, err “Laura” implied that anyone who doesn’t like the plan their employer offers is perfectly free to go running off to the exchanges, and that is patently untrue. The ability to do that is so seriously limited as to be non-existent. Most employer sponsored health plans would be considered both adequate and affordable. In fact on the website they pretty much said “if you’re covered under a plan at your job, you are considered covered for purposes of the ACA.” So there ya go.

        • JamieHaman

          This is where I found my info: https://www.healthcare.gov/what-if-i-have-job-based-health-insurance/ this is what it said,
          “If you have coverage from a job (or a family member’s job), you’re
          considered covered and won’t have to pay the fee that uninsured people must pay.
          You may be able to change to Marketplace coverage, but you might not qualify for lower costs on your premiums based on your income. This will depend on the type and cost of insurance the employer provides.”

          Re-reading this, I see the distinction, missed it the first time.

  • kitler

    Levonorgestrel, or Plan B:

    There is zero evidence that LNG can cause a fertilized egg not to implant.

    1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20933113

    “LNG had no effect on blastocyst viability or hatching and did not prevent blastocyst attachment and early implantation.”

    This same study, incidentally, discussed a clinical trial of LNG and describes it as “ineffective to prevent pregnancy” when taking at the time of ovulation.

    2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23114735

    This is a systematic review. It also discusses the Copper IUD (below) and UPA (below). A discussion of in vivo studies of LNG in other mammals notes that “Treatment with LNG in the rat and monkey does not affect fertilization or implantation.”

    Ella (Ulipristal Acetate)

    Many major scientific agencies-the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception-have concluded that the answer to the question “could UPA possibly cause a fertilized egg not to implant?” is ‘no’-it just doesn’t have a significant enough effect on the lining of the uterus, but while you can call the LNG question settled the answer to this one is more like “probably not.” You can read a contrasting view here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24440997

    1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2971744/..

    The main mechanism of ulipristal acetate is to inhibit follicular rupture. In other words, it prevents eggs from leaving the ovaries.

    2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22770536

    This discusses the role of drugs in UPA’s class in general, including LNG and mifeprestone (RU-486). It notes that UPA causes a very slight effect on endometrial thickening if taken at a certain point in the menstrual cycle.

    And finally, the IUDs, which HL objects to as well: Copper IUDs work because copper is toxic to sperm.

    1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8972502

    “The current data do not indicate that embryos are formed in IUD users at a rate comparable to that of nonusers. The common belief that the usual mechanism of action of IUDs in women is destruction of embryos in the uterus is not suppor ted by empirical evidence.”

    They also looked for spermatozoa in the uteri of women with IUDs and found that this confirmed the proposed anti-sperm mechanism of the copper IUD.

    “Early signs of implantation have been investigated by measuring biochemical markers in serum during a menstrual cycle, comparing women with medicated IUDs, such as a Cu-IUD, and those with an inert IUD as well as controls. The results showed a strongly reduced incidence of implantation signs in women with the Cu-IUD, indicating its prevention rather than interruption of implantation.” In other words, there aren’t embryos there to implant.

  • kitler

    To Laura, in moderation:

    No, none of what I wrote supports your point. These drugs do NOT cause abortions. If pregnancy occurs that’s because THE FUCKING DRUG DIDN’T PREVENT OVULATION AND THEREFORE IT FAILED TO PREVENT PREGNANCY

  • lady_black

    Did you notice how OLD that is, 5×5?

    • fiona64

      She’s not 5×5, believe it or not … this one’s for real. Her expertise about anything beyond washing hair, however, is not.

      • Jennifer Starr

        In that case, she might want to do a little something with her own hair.

      • lady_black

        That’s surprising. She pulls the same stunts he does.

      • lady_black

        I think it is him. The same style, all the way around.

        • Jennifer Starr

          This person is religious, which 5×5 has never been.

  • JamieHaman

    Just an fyi, insurance is a part of an employees’ compensation. He or she pays for a part, or all of the premium. The employer pays a part of the premium sometimes. The premium covers the cost of the preventative care, and that includes check ups for things like Pap smears for cancer, mammograms, birth control, etc.

    This is the part most people DON’T KNOW, the IRS allows companies who do pay a part of the premium to DEDUCT that cost as a legitimate business expense. The employee does not usually get to deduct that expense.
    Employers are NOT PAYING FOR IT. They are DEDUCTING that expense.

    In the case of a company paying the entire expense, the employee must pay taxes on it, while the employer still gets the deduction.
    So, if you are paying the entire expense, why would you want to let your boss decide whether or not your birth control is covered?

  • JamieHaman

    lol, girl you don’t have to quit your job! Just don’t accept the insurance he offers. You can go buy yor own on the open market.

  • JamieHaman

    It was at Hobby Lobby, in fact HL even invested in those products. They had no problem until the ACA.

    Some 85% of insurance companies did indeed cover it, because birth control is so much cheaper than paying for childbirth, and the hospital stay, especially if something goes wrong before, during, or after delivery.

  • Jennifer Starr

    They aren’t paying for abortifacient drugs, idiot.

    • Jennifer Starr

      To Laura in moderation–you can call me an elitist if that makes you feel better. But I also happen to be right. Plan B, Ella and IUDs are not abortifacient.

      • fiona64

        I think that “Laura’s” definition of elitist is “anyone smarter than her,” which is pretty much anyone with a 3-digit IQ.

  • Jennifer Starr

    Were they?

  • P. McCoy

    I regret that the ‘Christian’ Hobby Lobby does not make men sign a legal document stating under threat of prosecution for fraud that a man asking for any prescription ED medication or DME is straight, married, monogamous and will only use said products during vaginal intercourse open to pregnancy with his legal / or sacramentally valid wife only!

  • fiona64

    From the above-cited abstract (emphasis added):

    However, there are insufficient data to quantitate the relative contribution of postfertilization effects.

  • Unicorn Farm

    Where can I get some Elite Insurance? Can I just request an Elitist Plan, or do I have to switch insurers all together? Thanks for clarifying.

  • fiona64

    You’re very funny, dear.