By Elise Viebeck - 07/16/14 03:53 PM EDT
An anti-abortion political action committee (PAC) is vowing to punish vulnerable Senate Democrats for supporting a bill to reverse the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling.
Women Speak Out PAC said that Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) "stand with the abortion lobby" in their support for legislation to ensure that for-profit companies cover birth control.
"Senate Democrats and a few wayward Republicans just voted against religious freedom for their constituents and all Americans," said Women Speak Out PAC President Marjorie Dannenfelser.
The Senate bill strengthens a requirement under ObamaCare that for-profit companies offer comprehensive birth control coverage in their employee health plans.
The recent Hobby Lobby ruling allows closely held businesses to opt out of the rule on religious grounds. Democrats call the decision an unfair and dramatic extension of religious liberty rights to the private sector.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), asked Wednesday if Republicans believe "bosses should be in charge of a woman's healthcare decision."
"Do they think that we, as a country, should start down the path where CEOs and corporations can start making decisions for all kinds of healthcare for their employees?” Murray said.
"Women should call the shots when it comes to their healthcare decisions. Not their boss. Not their government. Not anyone else. Period."
Lacking the 60 votes necessary to advance, the measure ultimately stalled on the Senate floor. Three Republicans sided with Democrats, but it was not enough to move the bill forward.
Women Speak Out PAC criticized Dems for suggesting the Hobby Lobby decision affects women's access to birth control.
"Contraception is widely available. There is no bogey man or woman fighting to change that," Dannenfelser said.
"In backing this legislation, Senators Hagan, Pryor, and Landrieu stand with the abortion lobby, not the people who elected them," she continued.
The group did not announce specific plans to target Hagan, Pryor and Landrieu, who are three of the Senate's most vulnerable members this election cycle.