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WASHINGTON
Paul Gordon Collier

not my boss business

In response to the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Ruling, democrats in congress are pushing for new legislation to circumvent the decision.  The bill is called the “Not My Boss Business Act”, also referred to the ‘hashtag activist act” by opponents.  The new legislation is ostensibly designed to prevent businesses from choosing what types of healthcare coverage they will pay for.

Senator Patty Murray had this to say in a press release about her support for “Not My Boss Business Act”:

“This week, in response to the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby ruling, Chairman Murray and Democrats are moving forward with the Not My Boss’s Business Act to ensure that women can make their own health care decisions. The Not My Boss’s Business Act, which takes critical steps to protect women’s ability to control their own health care, is not only the right thing to do—it is also an important part of helping women and their families achieve economic security.”

Hobby Lobby, it should be noted, willingly covers 16 of the 20 contraceptives, and had done so before the passing of the Affordable Care Act.  The four contraceptives in question are alleged by Hobby Lobby to be abortifacients, which violates their religious convictions to not terminate life.

The legislation would allow for women to get healthcare coverage for all types of contraceptives, including abortifacients.  This tweet by Senator Patty Murray highlights the divide in values between those who support the “Not My Boss Business Act” and those who oppose it:

This tweet in response to Murray’s tweet well represents the counter view on this issue:

 

The issue is whether businesses being mandated to provide contraceptives to women should be considered an inherent right for women or whether ‘forcing’ businesses to pay for contraceptives is an unconstitutional coercion of the rights of the business owners.  The fact that abortifacients and other contraceptives are readily available for women at affordable prices leads the opposition to counter that women are not, in fact, being denied access to contraceptives and abortifacients.

The emerging underlying debate in America on this issue and others is the degree to which Americans’ religious rights versus gender and even sexual orientation rights should be considered the more significant right when weighing out competing interests.  The Hobby Lobby case is viewed by those who favor gender and sexual orientation rights over religious rights as a serious blow against their ideals of justice and fairness, while those who favor religious rights over gender and sexual orientation rights view it as a victory affirming the 1st amendment’s guarantee of ‘freedom of religion’.

Today, Majority Leader Harry Reid introduced the legislation sponsored by Mark Udall. A vote is expected on Wednesday.  It would require at least 5 Republicans to go along with it to break the filibuster.  Skeptics charge that the legislation was introduced to give Democrats opportunities to reignite the ‘war on woman’ narrative that was so effective for them in the 2012  election.