WASHINGTON – The Senate today stopped the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act from moving forward with a vote of 56-43 against cloture. The bill, which was introduced last week by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), would restore the contraceptive coverage guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act that was weakened by the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case last month.
"The court’s decision in Hobby Lobby was an unprecedented move allowing employers to use their religious beliefs to deny their employees a benefit that they are guaranteed by federal law to receive," said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. "A small number of senators chose politics over women’s health today by refusing to allow debate on this bill to move forward. It’s encouraging that a majority of the Senate voted to ensure that all women have access to affordable contraception, and we must build on that momentum as we continue to fight for the rights of all working women."
The bill—which is also known as the Not My Bosses’ Business Act— states that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not allow employers to refuse to comply with federal law guaranteeing coverage of specific health care.
Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives last week by Representatives Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.).