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POLITICS: PennAve

Republicans laud Hobby Lobby ruling while Democrats hint at legislation

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Politics,Congress,Susan Ferrechio,PennAve,Freedom of Religion,Contraception,Hobby Lobby

Congressional Republicans lauded Monday's Supreme Court split decision giving some companies the right to refuse to fund contraceptives under the new health care law.

But Democrats warned they could respond with legislative action to ensure women receive coverage that provides contraception.

Like many other GOP lawmakers, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the Supreme Court ruling a victory for religious freedom. Boehner also labeled the decision a rebuke of the Obama administration, which he said, “has repeatedly crossed constitutional lines in pursuit of its big government objectives.”

Boehner announced earlier this month he is suing the Obama administration over its use of executive action, which many in the GOP believes is excessive and in violation of the constitution.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said the ruling “recognized that Obamacare's trampling of religious liberty in the Hobby Lobby case should not stand.”

The Supreme Court, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeted, “handed our nation a landmark victory for religious liberty.”

Democrats, meantime, decried the ruling.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., noted in a tweet that the majority decision was handed down by five male justices.

He pledged to take action to provide contraception coverage for those who could now be denied if they work for a “closely held," for-profit company like the plaintiff in the case, Hobby Lobby.

“If the Supreme Court will not protect women’s access to health care, then Democrats will,” Reid said. “We will continue to fight to preserve women’s access to contraceptive coverage and keep bosses out of the examination room.”

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the decision will eliminate preventative care for some women, pointing out some studies indicating 60 percent of those who use birth control cite health reasons rather than family planning.

“This decision takes money out of the pockets of women and their families and allows for-profit employers to deny access to certain health care benefits based on their personal beliefs,” Wasserman Schultz said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., a chief architect of the health care law, denounced the ruling on Twitter.

“SCOTUS took an outrageous step against women's rights, setting a dangerous precedent that permits corporations to choose which laws to obey,” Pelosi tweeted.

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Author:

Susan Ferrechio

Chief Congressional Correspondent
The Washington Examiner

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