Pelosi: Hobby Lobby bill ‘as personal as it gets’

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sharply criticized the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, saying Tuesday the decision to exempt some employers from the mandate to cover birth control singles out women’s health.

Pelosi joined other Democrats and advocacy groups at a Capitol Hill news conference to promote a bill that would reverse the ruling, which allows closely-held for-profit corporations to be exempt from the birth control mandate.

ADVERTISEMENT
“Fundamentally, this is a women’s health issue,” Pelosi said. “Issues like contraception and family planning choices are not just about family planning, they’re about the health of women.”

Pelosi painted decisions about contraception as deeply personal and individual, and said the Hobby Lobby ruling inappropriately inserts employers into those decisions.

“It’s really as personal as it gets,” she said. “I wish [the justices] could have had a conversation with their mothers, with their wives, with their daughters, with their sisters, with anybody else who had any knowledge of the ramifications of public policy in the personal lives of women.”

The Democrats sought to call attention to their proposal the day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) set up a procedural vote on the Senate’s bill to overturn the Hobby Lobby decision. 

The Democrats also highlighted that many women use contraception for health reasons unrelated to family planning.

“What they did was a gross assault on workers rights, women’s health and respect for women, singling out women’s health for discrimination,” Pelosi said.

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) said at the event that she and her colleagues would move to force a vote on their bill in the House.