- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed back Tuesday at Democrats’ claims the GOP is harming women with their support of the Supreme Court’s recent birth-control decision by highlighting the less popular aspects of Obamacare as a whole.

“Research shows that women make about 80 percent of the health care decisions for their families in this country,” the Kentucky Republican said. “And yet Obamacare has caused countless women to lose the health care plans they had and liked.”

The leader’s comments come amid the Democrats’ full-court press to reverse the high court’s “Hobby Lobby” decision, which said closely held corporations do not have to insure contraceptives they object to on moral grounds, even though an Obamacare rule required them to as part of company plans.

Sen. Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat locked in a re-election battle, authored legislation with Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, to make sure corporations cannot refuse to insure a health service when its legally mandated.

The GOP says Democrats are stretching the facts around “Hobby Lobby” for political gain, making it seem as though employers can somehow block women from getting contraceptives of their choosing when the case is really about insuring the drugs and services.

Mr. McConnell announced Tuesday that GOP lawmakers will file a bill of their own to make sure employers do not get in the way of access.

“Instead of restricting Americans’ religious freedoms, we should preserve a woman’s ability to make contraceptive decisions for herself,” Mr. McConnell said. “And that’s why we plan to introduce legislation this week that says no employer can block any employee from legal access to her FDA-approved contraceptives.”

Unswayed, Democrats took to the floor to trumpet their own bill.

Mr. Udall said women use contraceptives for an array of health care needs, and that corporate owners should not act as a “gatekeeper” to affordable contraceptives.

“That’s not acceptable to Coloradans,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, has signaled the chamber will act on the bill this week, although the measure will surely die in the Republican-led House.

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