Senate Democrats will offer legislation Wednesday morning to reverse last week's Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Supreme Court ruling on contraception coverage, though the measure has no chance of passing the House.
The measure from Sen. Patty MurrayPatty MurrayInspector general reviewing HHS decision to halt ObamaCare ads Dems mock House GOP over lack of women in healthcare meeting The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (D-Wash.) seeks to stop corporations from refusing federal healthcare coverage mandates on religious grounds.
The Democrats, aware that the House would never defy the court's ruling but confident the public sides with them, want to draw the GOP into a political fight over birth control in order to energize women voters.
Republicans say the strategy will neither fly with women voters, nor insulate vulnerable Democrats from losses in November.
In one specific race, the National Republican Senatorial Committee argues that its candidate, Rep. Cory GardnerCory GardnerOvernight Cybersecurity: New questions for House Intel chair over WH visit | Cyber war debate heats up | Firm finds security flaws in 'panic buttons' Trump’s budget jeopardizes America’s public lands heritage Repeal of Obama drilling rule stalls in the Senate MORE (R-Colo.), has gained the upper hand by saying women should be able to receive birth control over the counter.
Gardner has come under fire for his support for "personhood" measures that would ban commonly used forms of birth control, a stance he says he no longer holds.
In a window on the Democrats' strategy, Sen. Mark UdallMark UdallGorsuch's critics, running out of arguments, falsely scream 'sexist' Election autopsy: Latinos favored Clinton more than exit polls showed Live coverage: Tillerson's hearing for State MORE (D-Colo.), Gardner's opponent, will be the lead co-sponsor on Murray's bill.
The legislation will ban employers from refusing to cover healthcare services that are otherwise guaranteed under federal law. It would also clarify that the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not allow companies to disobey ObamaCare's birth control coverage rules.
Democrats fear that the court ruling could allow some companies to refuse to provide coverage for vaccines, blood transfusions and HIV treatments to their workers. The bill seeks to avoid this outcome.