Senate Kills Bill to Reverse Hobby Lobby Ruling

As GOP announces plans to introduce its own contraception bill

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 17, 2014 9:02 AM CDT

(Newser) – Senate Democrats' attempt to nullify the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision has met its end—at least for now. Republicans yesterday blocked the motion, which fell four votes short of the 60 it needed to proceed to the House. The bill, defeated 56-43 on a procedural vote, would have allowed women to "call the shots when it comes to their health care decisions," said Sen. Patty Murray, who proposed the bill, as it sought to prevent companies from ducking birth control coverage by citing religious freedom, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Harry Reid—who voted against the bill so he can later reintroduce it—says the Senate will vote again on the issue this year. Meanwhile, Republicans will propose a bill of their own that "will make very clear that women have the same rights today to access contraception as they did before ObamaCare was passed and before the Hobby Lobby decision," Sen. Kelly Ayotte tells CBS News. "It's important that American women understand that you can be for supporting people's religious freedom and also support women's access to contraception." The Journal calls the efforts "a round of partisan jousting aimed at capturing women's votes in the fall."

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., center, joined by Senate GOP leaders, talks to reporters about competing bills on employee health coverage and birth control, Tuesday, July 15, 2014.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., center, joined by Senate GOP leaders, talks to reporters about competing bills on employee health coverage and birth control, Tuesday, July 15, 2014.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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