Senate Republicans plan to offer their own legislation in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on the ObamaCare birth control mandate.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellProgressive group changes tone on Kaine Trump hits Kaine on TPP: He supports a 'job killer' Clinton maps out first 100 days MORE (R-Ky.) said Republicans plan to put forward a bill that would ensure employers cannot prevent their employees from obtaining contraception.
The legislation appears to be an attempt by Senate Republicans to address an emotional political issue that Democrats have made central to their midterm election campaign.
The Supreme Court ruled last month that some closely held private companies cannot be required to offer birth control in their healthcare plans if they have religious objections, though the justices said they were open to an "accommodation" that could bypass those concerns.
While Republicans hailed the ruling as a victory for religious freedom, Democrats denounced it and are pushing legislation that would bar private employers from denying birth control in their health coverage plans.
On Wednesday, the Senate will hold the first procedural vote on S. 2578, a bill from Sens. Patty MurrayPatty MurrayOur children, our future – bridging the partisan divide Overnight Energy: Officials close in on new global emissions deal NBA pulls All-Star Game from NC over bathroom law MORE (D-Wash.) and Mark UdallMark UdallColorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open Energy issues roil race for Senate Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium MORE (D-Colo.) that takes on the ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.
McConnell, who is facing a tough reelection fight against Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky, accused Democrats of exaggerating the implications of the high court's decision.
“Democrats are just attempting to offer another false choice here,” McConnell said. “What we’re saying is that of course you can support both religious freedom and access to contraception.”
Democrats have pounced on the issue ahead of the November elections to try to fire up their base, and they are pushing changes to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that the high court cited in its decision.
“This case has unjustly singled out women’s healthcare services,” Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerThe Trail 2016: One large crack in the glass ceiling Dem suggests race factored into Obama Senate endorsement Obama, Biden back Kamala Harris in Calif. Senate race MORE (D-Calif.) said Tuesday. “I don’t know a single healthcare provider who is dropping the coverage of Viagra — put the pieces together yourself. … I think that this decision discriminates against women.”