By Elise Viebeck - 07/08/14 06:56 PM EDT
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 MurrayOvernight Healthcare: Medicare fight looms on Capitol Hill Senate GOP hardening stance against emergency funding for Zika Overnight Healthcare: More trouble for Zika funding 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 GardnerInvestments in research and development are investments in American jobs EPA won’t pay Colorado county for some mine spill costs The Trail 2016: Trump applies presidential polish, Cruz adds VP 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 UdallEnergy issues roil race for Senate Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium Two vulnerable senators lack challengers for 2016 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.