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Pelosi on Hobby Lobby: Be Afraid of SCOTUS

Pelosi on Hobby Lobby: Be Afraid of SCOTUS

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - July 10, 2014

Nancy Pelosi said Americans should fear the Supreme Court in light of its recent Hobby Lobby decision. That late-June ruling allowed for-profit, secular companies to opt out of mandated contraceptive coverage under the health care law.

“We should be afraid of this court,” the House minority leader told reporters Thursday. She expressed chagrin “that five men should get down to the specifics of whether a woman should use a diaphragm and she should pay for it herself or her boss.”

Congressional Democrats have decried the 5-4 decision that exempted closely held companies from the coverage requirement if it infringed upon the owners’ religious beliefs.

Democrats plan to use this issue as a club against Republicans in the lead-up to the November midterms, characterizing the decision as an affront to women and their health care choices.

Senate and House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled legislative remedies to the ruling. Reps. Louise Slaughter, Diana DeGette, and Jerrold Nadler introduced the Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act in the House, and a handful of Senate Democrats plan to sponsor a companion bill in the upper chamber.

Sens. Mark Udall of Colorado and Mark Begich of Alaska, two endangered Democratic incumbents this cycle, signed on to the Senate bill, along with Patty Murray of Washington. Murray argued that the court’s decision could have an impact on services beyond contraception.

Udall said the proposed legislation would “keep women's private health decisions out of our corporate boardrooms because your boss shouldn't be able to dictate what is best for you and your family."

Udall is facing a challenge from Republican Rep. Cory Gardner in November, and has made women’s health care issues a key component of the high-stakes race that could hinge on women voters.

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at chueyburns@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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