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Even if they worked for businesses that had religious objections

The NY Times reports on this new bill, which (of course) preserves all the exemptions Obama already gave away to the god-botherers.

Democrats in Congress said Tuesday that they had developed legislation to override the Supreme Court decision on contraceptives. The bill would ensure that women had access to insurance coverage for birth control even if they worked for businesses that had religious objections.

The bill, put together in consultation with the Obama administration, would require for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby Stores to provide and pay for contraceptive coverage, along with other preventive health services, under the Affordable Care Act.

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, said the legislation was high on his agenda.

“The one thing we’re going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men,” Mr. Reid said Tuesday. “This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous, and we’re going to do something about it. People are going to have to walk down here and vote, and if they vote with the five men on the Supreme Court, I think they’re going to be treated unfavorably come November with the elections.”

I don’t. I hope he’s right, but I’m not optimistic. We do love our religious fanaticism here.

[Senator] Murray’s bill criticizes the court’s majority opinion and declares that “employers may not discriminate against their female employees” in the coverage of preventive health services.

To this end, it says that an employer “shall not deny coverage of a specific health care item or service” where coverage is required under any provision of federal law. This requirement, it says, shall apply to employers notwithstanding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

I hate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Hate it hate it hate it. That’s not a very thoughtful commentary, but it’s late in the day and about 100 degrees here at this desk (ok no it’s not, it’s 76, but that’s hot).

Representative Diana DeGette, Democrat of Colorado and a co-author of the House version, said: “Our main concern is making sure that women are not denied contraceptives while we sit around trying to figure out what to do. The bill is an interim solution, to make sure women can get birth control while we look at broader issues, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

Yes! Look at it!! Look at it and then tear it up into a million billion pieces and feed it to the dog!

 

Comments

  1. John Morales says

    “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

  2. coragyps says

    Ophelia, I’m SHOCKED! You, of all people, advocating feeding congressional offal to some poor dog!

  3. Blanche Quizno says

    @1 John Morales – *I* recognize that passage! It’s from the Book of Dick!

  4. says

    The one thing we’re going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men,” Mr. Reid said Tuesday.

    Indeed not.

    You’re going to make sure it’s decided instead by a few hundred white men. They’re called Congressmen (sic), and they’re members of the Do-Nothing Know-Nothing Party.

    Because come on, this is going to pass the lower House? Nah. Propaganda for the War on Women (a registered trademark of the Democratic Party 2014 Campaign Committee).

  5. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ ^ CaitieCat, getaway driver : yeah, that’s a good point – you’re probly right there although I hope not.

    @1. John Morales & Blanche Quizno :

    Actually its Genesis 3:16 :

    http://www.thebricktestament.com/genesis/the_garden_of_eden/31_gn03_16.html

    And it is also utter rubbish and the legacy of a misogynist Bronze Age culture and mythology.

    (interestingly Genesis 2:4-5 “.. God had not caused it to rain, and there was no man to work the ground.” Could arguably be translated as evidence that God is NOT a man. Maybe?)

  6. Holms says

    (interestingly Genesis 2:4-5 “.. God had not caused it to rain, and there was no man to work the ground.” Could arguably be translated as evidence that God is NOT a man. Maybe?)

    I don’t see why you would interpret it that way; not only is it a bit of a stretch based on the text there, but it is also obliterated by the rest of the Bible identifying him as male; Him, Lord, making the first human in his own image (a male), etc. etc.

  7. Abdul Alhazred says

    In other countries businesses pay lots of taxes, but are not directly on the hook for employee’s health insurance.

    Could it be *that* is the problem in the USA?

    Please folks stop being self righteous about the stupid way we do things, even if “it’s the law”.

  8. John Horstman says

    “The one thing we’re going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men,” Mr. Reid said Tuesday.

    Yeah! Instead it’s going to be the 78 White men in the Senate determining the course of women’s lives! So much better. Really, he should have pointed out that they’re Catholic; also, Clarence Thomas is White now? Congrats on joining the top social caste, dude!

    Yes! Look at it!! Look at it and then tear it up into a million billion pieces and feed it to the dog!

    Word. The constitutional protection, interpreted as a “wall of separation”, is exactly the law needed to maximally ensure everyone’s religious freedom in a pluralistic environment. Additional laws necessarily seek to upset this optimal balance and are thus a bad idea.

  9. says

    Oops – people do keep forgetting about Thomas, don’t they. All the sillier since the “white” part really isn’t relevant here. The Catholic part is and the male part is, but the white part isn’t.

  10. Crimson Clupeidae says

    I really hope a decent sized business, run by a Muslim family, tries to take advantage of this ruling soon.

    I mean, I would feel bad for the employees, but watching the rightwing squirm would be quite entertaining.

  11. quixote says

    I second those who want to know what you have against the poor dog?

    (Nothing substantive here. Nothing substantive in the bill. Election year hoopla. “Look at us. We’re way better than those guys. We don’t do anything useful, but aren’t we cuddly?”)

  12. qwints says

    I don’t mind RFRA in its original context (Native American Church members using peyote) – I think it’s reasonable to exempt religious minorities from broad laws passed by governments that didn’t consider them unless there’s a good reason not to. There’s good reason to believe that both the state and federal government have repeatedly discriminated against religious minorities, and I like them having some protection. That said, there’s a world of difference between banning the use of sacraments by a religious minority and having employers provide adequate health insurance.

  13. says

    Well but it’s no good liking laws in particular contexts. They don’t stop at particular contexts. That’s why they have to be carefully drafted.

  14. says

    I have an idea for a law. Call it the ‘Save the country a shitload of money in the future act’
    It would be easy to administer since it would only involve offering free birth control for whoever wants it.
    It would reduce the prison population.
    It would save on welfare payments.
    It would reduce school spending especially for poor districts.
    It would give more power to women.
    .Oh, wait….
    I just realized that that last one is a no go in Jesus’ America.
    Never mind.

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