Sen. Blumenthal to Hobby Lobby: ‘Do the Right Thing’ on Contraceptive Access


On Monday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to Hobby Lobby, requesting that the craft store chain voluntarily provide insurance plans that offer contraceptive coverage to women in Connecticut. The letter was in response to the June Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case, in which the Court ruled that the contraceptive benefit in the Affordable Care Act violates the rights of the craft store, and that therefore the store can deny contraceptive coverage in employer-sponsored insurance plans.

Blumenthal asks the company to honor existing law in Connecticut, which mandates that all health insurance coverage offer the full range of contraceptive options approved by the Food and Drug Administration, despite the “legal discretion to limit health insurance coverage” provided by the Supreme Court decision.

Less than a month after the Hobby Lobby decision, the U.S. Senate introduced the Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act, which would prohibit employers from using any federal law as reason for denying coverage of contraception under the Affordable Care Act. As RH Reality Check has previously reported, Democrats in both the House and Senate have been vocally opposed to the Court’s ruling.

In the letter, Blumenthal, who is a sponsor of the Corporate Interference Act, points out that Connecticut has been at the forefront of protecting women’s access to contraception. In a 1965 ruling, Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court found that “state law prohibiting the sale of contraceptives violated the constitutional rights of women.” The Court’s ruling in that case influenced their later decision in Roe v. Wade.

Blumenthal’s letter is a plea on behalf of Connecticut women to maintain the right to “choose the most appropriate healthcare services after consulting with their healthcare provider” and for Hobby Lobby to “do the right thing” for its employees with regard to contraceptive access.

“Religious liberty is about individual’s right to practice their own religion, not the right of bosses to impose religious beliefs on employees,” Blumenthal writes.

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  • fiona64

    Nice to see that Sen. Blumenthal has some sense … and really cares about his constituents.

    • fiona64

      Reply to Valerie Blanck, rightfully in moderation: You clearly have a vivid fantasy life.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Way to go, Sen. Blumenthal.

  • lady_black

    The only law being challenged in Hobby Lobby was the ACA. That doesn’t automatically invalidate the law in Connecticut.

  • lady_black

    IUDs and emergency contraceptives are not “post-conception” and they aren’t “abortifacient.” Some idiot believes that sexual intercourse and conception are one and the same. That would be you. When a woman has an IUD she has it in place long term, regardless of quantity of sexual activity, and emergency contraception is post-coital, NOT post-conception. Learn the difference. What you are really pushing here is the thought that sperm are sacred, and anything interfering with sacred sperm is abortion. If you had a clue, you’d be dangerous. On second thought, you’re already dangerous.

  • Arachne646

    Neither Emergency Contraceptives (2 of the products), nor progesterone or copper IUD’s (the other 2) act by preventing zygotes (fertilized eggs) from implanting in the uterus. Even if one believes that this mechanism of action of birth control (it isn’t abortion, because no pregnancy is in place in the uterus) is ending a human life, it’s not how EC pills, or these IUD’s work. The EC pills (all brands) work by preventing ovulation, and can inhibit ability of sperm to travel in the female reproductive tract, as does the progesterone IUD. The copper IUD induces an immune reaction in the uterus such that sperm cannot survive there. I and many others respect the right of conscience, but it has to be based on something more than hot air!

    • liberal_idiot

      What really drives me nuts about this whole thing is that people keep using factual, intelligent and accurate “those aren’t abortion inducing medications!” rebuttals to the “but they have religious conscience rights!” argument.

      Face it, that argument *doesn’t work.* And it won’t ever work because I think it was stated best as, apparently, belief trumps facts according to the verdict given by SCOTUS.

      Emotion will always win over reason, so the best thing to do is to angrily shout back:

      “QUIT FORCING YOUR RELIGION DOWN MY THROAT!!!!11!!1!!!”

      Because that is exactly what this is: employers (people in power) wanting to police the decisions of their female employees (the rest of us) through their insurance (any means necessary).

      Good job on Blumenthal though, at least he’s trying to stand up under this $h1tstorm.