GOP Govs Don't Fear Backlash Over Hobby Lobby Ruling

Image: GOP Govs Don't Fear Backlash Over Hobby Lobby Ruling Supportes of employer-paid birth control rally in front of the Supreme Court before the decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.

Monday, 14 Jul 2014 09:55 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Republican governors have given their approval to the Hobby Lobby ruling and say they are not concerned it could reignite accusations of a GOP "war on women," Politico reported.

The Supreme Court’s decision exempted closely held corporations on religious grounds from the Obamacare mandate forcing companies to pay for contraceptive coverage for their female employees.

But Republicans at the National Governors Associations in Nashville, Tennessee, said over the weekend there has not been a similar outrage from women in their states over the court’s ruling to the uproar sparked nationally.

"It really hasn’t been an issue for us just because it’s a federal decision," Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told Politico. "Honestly, we haven’t heard much of anything at the state level out on the street from people we bumped into and talked to. I’m not on the court and I’m not in the federal government so I don’t really get involved with it."

When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was asked whether he was worried that women in his state would no longer have birth control coverage, he bluntly replied, "No." Asked why not, he quickly added, "Because I’m not."

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad echoed other Republican governors by declaring that the ruling has curtailed President Barack Obama’s overreach with his signature healthcare law.

"We think the court made a good decision,"  Branstad said, according to the political website. "I’m Catholic, I want religious freedom," he said. "It’s a limited decision. We think that the president has overstepped his bounds and that the court decision was appropriate."

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, where Hobby Lobby is based, noted that the arts and crafts company only objected to providing four of the 24 types of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives.

"[Women] still will have access," Fallin told Politico.

Democratic lawmakers are already fighting back against the ruling by creating a health insurance exception to the religious freedom law on which the Supreme Court had based its opinion, Politico said.

The legislation restoring the contraception coverage requirement, could be introduced in the Senate this week, where it will have positive reception in the Democratic-controlled upper chamber.

Although the GOP-led House is likely to reject it, Democrats are hoping that it will be a catalyst for the "war on women" theme that has hurt Republican in previous elections, and could result in women turning out in force in close Senate midterm races in Colorado and North Carolina.

Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, the main architect behind the new bill, is facing Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, who praised the Hobby Lobby ruling while also calling for the FDA to allow birth control pills to be sold over the counter, the political news website said.

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