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HOBBY LOBBY: Murray Highlights Support for Not My Boss’s Business Act, Reminds GOP That Women Are Watching

Sep 10 2014

Speech comes as support for Murray-Udall bill continues to grow, while Republicans across America propose last ditch efforts to do damage control on embarrassing women’s health record



Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) delivered remarks on the Senate floor highlighting the growing support for her bill with Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) to reverse the misguided Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision. Senator Murray also discussed recent Republican efforts across the country to run from their record on women’s health. In July, Senate Republicans filibustered the Not My Boss’s Business Act, despite the nearly 99 percent of sexually active women who use birth control and the 7 in 10 Americans who support contraception coverage in health plans.

Excerpts of Senator Murray’s remarks:

“As the ink was still drying on Justice Alito’s misguided opinion in the Hobby Lobby case I made an unwavering commitment to do everything I could to protect women’s access to health care—since the five male justices of the Supreme Court decided they wouldn’t. That is why I worked with my partner, the senior Senator from Colorado, to introduce the Not My Boss’s Business Act, to restore these lost benefits and protect women’s healthcare. And I am proud that in the months since, we’ve received such strong support from men and women across the country.”

“Ensuring access to contraceptive coverage isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s also a critical part of making sure that women and their families have a fair shot. In the 21st century women and their families shouldn’t be held back by outdated policies and unfair practices. And as I said here yesterday on the Senate floor -- it’s not just about access to contraception. This includes pay equity, access to child care, a higher minimum wage—and it absolutely includes the right to make their own medical and religious decisions without being dictated to or limited by their employers. The bottom line here is: Women use birth control for a host of reasons – none of which should require a permission slip from their boss.”

“Unfortunately, Americans are most likely not surprised by what they’re seeing. This obstruction is coming from members of the same Party that has been threatening to subject women to invasive and degrading ultrasounds. The same Party that had candidates making outrageous statements about “legitimate rape” and then defending those comments during their disastrous book tour. The same Party that, on Capitol Hill, in state houses across America, and in courtrooms at all levels – are actively attempting to block women’s ability to make their own decisions about their health. They have shown they’ll go to just about any length to limit access to care.”

Senator Murray’s full remarks:

“I’ve come to the floor today to discuss another important piece of the Democrats’ Fair Shot Agenda—and that is ensuring women across America have access to the basic and often life-saving healthcare benefits guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act.

“Just a few months ago five men on the Supreme Court decided that there should be a group of women across America who are required to ask their boss for permission to access basic health care and that a corporation should have more rights than the women it employs.

“Just a few months ago, those five men rolled back the clock on millions of women across America—

“As the ink was still drying on Justice Alito’s misguided opinion in the Hobby Lobby case I made an unwavering commitment to do everything I could to protect women’s access to health care—since the five male justices of the Supreme Court decided they wouldn’t.

“That is why I worked with my partner, the senior Senator from Colorado, to introduce the Not My Boss’s Business Act, to restore these lost benefits and protect women’s healthcare.  

“And I am proud that in the months since, we’ve received such strong support from men and women across the country.

“Our straightforward and simple legislation would ensure that no CEO or corporation can come between you and your guaranteed access to health care – period.

“This shouldn’t be a controversial issue.

“In fact, nearly 7 in 10 say health plans should cover birth control.  

“And the only controversy about birth control is the fact that it’s 2014 and we are still fighting for this basic health care used by 99% of sexually active women.

“But despite the resounding outrage we heard from women and men across America, Senate Republicans stood with this misguided Supreme Court decision and blocked our efforts to right this wrong.

“If our colleagues on the other side of the aisle thought their obstruction of the Not My Boss’s Business Act in July would end the conversation – they were dead wrong.

“Since then, millions of Americans have taken action.

“They have voiced their outrage on social media, they have organized action in their communities, and they will continue to speak out until Congress in turn takes action.

“Unfortunately, it appears their message has once again fallen on deaf ears here among Senate Republicans.

“It has become increasingly clear that Republicans have decided to put the Tea Party ahead of women and have no intention of even allowing debate on the Not My Boss’s Business Act in the near future.

“I am extremely disappointed.

“I would have hoped our colleagues on the other side of the aisle would have maybe —just maybe— spent just a little time listening to the women in their states as they were home in August.

If they had, they would have heard the women across America asking Congress to fix the horrible decision that resulted from Hobby Lobby.

“And it’s not just women who want Congress to act.

“People across the country understand that if bosses can deny birth control—they can deny vaccines, HIV treatment, or other basic health care services for employees and their covered dependents.

“And I think what men across America understand is that it’s not just female employees impacted—it’s their wives and their daughters who share their health care plan too.

“The data is clear.

“Ensuring access to contraceptive coverage isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s also a critical part of making sure that women and their families have a fair shot.

“In the 21st century women and their families shouldn’t be held back by outdated policies and unfair practices.

“And as I said here yesterday on the Senate floor -- it’s not just about access to contraception.

“This includes pay equity, access to child care, a higher minimum wage—and it absolutely includes the right to make their own medical and religious decisions without being dictated to or limited by their employers.

The bottom line here is: Women use birth control for a host of reasons – none of which should require a permission slip from their boss.

“Unfortunately, Americans are most likely not surprised by what they’re seeing.

“This obstruction is coming from members of the same Party that has been threatening to subject women to invasive and degrading ultrasounds.

The same Party that had candidates making outrageous statements about “legitimate rape” and then defending those comments during their disastrous book tour.

The same Party that, on Capitol Hill, in state houses across America, and in courtrooms at all levels – are actively attempting to block women’s ability to make their own decisions about their health.

They have shown they’ll go to just about any length to limit access to care.

Just in the past few weeks we’ve seen last ditch efforts from Republicans to distract from their embarrassing record on women’s health by claiming to support “cheaper and easier” access to contraception by making it available over-the-counter.

The reality is that these proposals would actually cost women more by forcing them to pay out of pocket for the birth control they're getting now at no cost thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

“This is a basic piece of women's health care and shouldn't be available only to those who can afford it.

The American people are not fooled.

In fact, just yesterday Politifact rated one Republican birth control claim as “Mostly False,” given that it was “lacking in concrete details.”

“Time and time again Republican leadership has put politics between women and their health care.

And now, with their continued obstruction, they’ve put employers between women and their access to free or low-cost basic health care under the Affordable Care Act.

They’ve shown that they’re not focused on what’s best for women.

Instead they’re focused on political calculations, appeasing the far right, and their continued efforts to do whatever it takes to push their extreme agenda, even when it burdens working women and their families.

But, despite this disappointing turn of events, I stand here today happy to say the deck is stacked against them.

“Because the millions of women who benefit from this basic and often life-saving health care will not be silenced –

“And they will be watching.”