DENVER (CBS4)– Senator Mark Udall has introduced a bill in response to the Supreme Court ruling on contraception. It’s getting support from some women’s rights groups.
The high court’s June 30 ruling found that some businesses can, because of their religious beliefs, choose not to comply with the federal health care law’s requirement that contraception coverage be provided to workers at no extra charge.
Udall calls his bill the “Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act.” He said it would prevent companies from deciding women’s healthcare decisions.
He said the Supreme Court’s ruling unfairly burdens women in accessing what he calls essential healthcare services.
“This decision was misguided and wrong,” said Udall. “Colorado women should never have to ask their bosses for a permission slip to access common forms of birth control or other health services.”
Udall touted his legislation in Denver as he was flanked by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice. He believes contraception is a fundamental right for all women.
“The women who went to work for Hobby Lobby signed up to work at a craft store not a religious organization,” said Udall.
Hobby Lobby agreed to cover 20 types of birth control but objected to four emergency contraceptives.
“There is still going to be contraception provided to women at Hobby Lobby. I think it’s disingenuous for Sen. Udall to somehow claim that for religious reasons women aren’t going to be getting contraception if they go work for Hobby Lobby,” said Colorado Catholic Conference spokeswoman Jenny Kraska.
She believes Udall’s motivation is political. He’s in a tight race with Congressman Cory Gardner that could determine control of the U.S. Senate. The women’s vote will be critical to that race.
Gardner has proposed making birth control pills available over-the-counter, something Udall says, “Although the idea has some merit when you look at the wide range of contraceptive medications and services available, a simply over-the-counter approach isn’t necessarily the way to go.”
Udall said his legislation aims to make all birth control available to all women at no cost.
“We are committed to changing the Supreme Court’s decision and showing that women’s healthcare is not your boss’s business,” said Udall.
Gardner’s campaign countered Udall’s statements, saying the Republican challenger’s plan would save money and hassle and that “Sen. Udall’s opposition shows he is more concerned with his own political health than women’s health.”