June 30th, 2014
01:09 PM ET
6 years ago

Do Democrats win by losing Obamacare decision?

Washington (CNN) - At first glance, Monday's Supreme Court ruling that closely held companies cannot be required to cover some types of contraceptives for their employees appears to be a defeat for the White House, Democrats and the health care reform measure they pushed into law.

Most Republicans were quick to celebrate the ruling.

"This decision protects the religious freedom that is guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment, and we're grateful the Court ruled on the side of liberty," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said.

And most Democrats were equally fast in slamming the court's opinion.

"Today, the Supreme Court took an outrageous step against the rights of America’s women, setting a dangerous precedent that could permit for-profit corporations to pick and choose which laws to obey. This deeply misguided and destructive decision is a serious blow to Americans’ ability to make their own health decisions," declared House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Latest CNN reporting on the ruling and the reaction

What the ruling means

But some Democrats say there may be a silver lining in the ruling: It could motivate younger women and unmarried women to show up at the polls come November.

Exit polls indicate that unmarried and younger women support Democrats over Republicans, but their numbers also traditionally drop from presidential elections to midterm contests.

"Young women have been a key component of the Democratic coalition since the administration of George W. Bush, with more than six in 10 of them voting Democratic in House races consistently since 2006," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "But they don't turn out for midterm elections. In 2012, for example, young women represented 10% of all voters, but in 2010, only 5% of the electorate were young women."

Democrats have a 55-45 majority in the Senate - 53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party. But the party is defending 21 of the 36 seats up for grabs this year, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states.

And Emily's List, a powerful politically active outside group that supports female candidates and lawmakers that favor abortion rights, quick highlighted after the opinion's announcement how important the midterms are when it comes to women voters.

"Today's Supreme Court decision is a stark reminder of how important it is for Democrats to keep hold of the Senate. When the future of our judiciary branch and women's access to health care is at stake we need every woman to get out and vote in November," said EMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock.

And Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said, "We will work tirelessly with our allies and member activists to make sure that the people who would stand between a woman and her doctor are held accountable."

The communications director for EMILY's List said the ruling will motivate women to cast ballots come November.

"Ninety-nine percent of women of women aged 15-44 have used birth control - this should not be controversial," Jess McIntosh told CNN. "But conservatives in every branch of government are determined to undermine our ability to make our medical decisions on our own – just like men do. Women have decided every election in recent memory. Women were watching today, and it will absolutely be a motivating factor in November."
Some conservative women rejected the notion that the ruling will motive female voters to support Democratic candidates come November.

Concerned Women for America, a socially conservative group, said that it preserved "religious liberty for everyone, including the women represented by the other side."

Alison Howard, the group's communications director, said the ruling would motivate women in a different way: "This is so affirming to those women who believe in freedom and that's bigger than those who believe that taxpayers should fund abortion inducing drugs and contraceptives."

And Alice Stewart, a GOP consultant and radio talk show host in Arkansas who was a senior adviser the past two presidential cycles to the Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann presidential campaigns, said, "Here we go again, liberals using the faux war on women argument to distract from the real issue; the real issue here is Obamacare's attempt to undermine our religious liberties.”

GOP strategist Ana Navarro sees a balance.

"The political spin seems bigger than the decision's bite. I think you can be a woman who uses birth control and still understand that there needs to be a balance that protects religious freedom. I think with this narrowly tailored decision, the court struck that balance," said Navarro, a CNN contributor.


Filed under: Abortion • Supreme Court
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Silence DoGood

    " It could motivate younger women and unmarried women to show up at the polls come November."
    -------------
    That is right. People need to get truly concerned and upset by the radical religious theocracy movement. And get out and vote. Say NO to one sect of one religion trying to make itself the State Religion.

    June 30, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Dumbas[R]ocks

    -- "Like when SCOTUS struck down DOMA, approved ACA etc. Where did SCOTUS take away the right? It just said another person need not be forced to pay for your rights." --

    There's your problem. YOU are so stupid that you have happily bought into the egregious LIE that a corporation is just "another person". YOU just failed the mental competency test; you may now go back to your lemming cage.

    That this LIE is being celebrated by so-called "conservatives" is proof-positive that there are no more true conservatives on the right.....there's just a burning remnant of rightwing drama queens who couldn't think themselves out of a wet paper bag.

    June 30, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. Steve

    Everyone these days expects the government to rule to make their life easier. There are no guarantees in life but yet there are some who think they should be guaranteed things and call them rights. Health insurance, is not a right. Contraception, is no a right. I do not have the right to not have a heart attack but there are things I can do to prevent it that is free. Same goes for pregnancy, there are things you can do to prevent it that is free. Some use BC for issues other than contraceptive. YES, but at that point, it is no longer a contraceptive, it is a medicine.

    June 30, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. drake mallard

    Corporations are People too my friend but They Have More Rights than You

    “pro-life” is more about controlling female sexuality than it is about godly behavior

    shouldn’t Hobby Lobby also be attempting to restrict its coverage of Viagra to married men only?) it’s perfectly okay for men to use drugs that allow them to have sex,
    but perfectly not okay for women to use drugs that allow them to remain
    unimpregnanted.

    June 30, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. amythelady

    They are not taking birth control or abortion rights away...they just don't want to contribute or pay for something they consider a sin or morally wrong. Birth control cost less than a cell phone bill and is FREE at planned parenthood. You have to see it from their eyes...how can you FORCE someone to participate or contribute in ANY way to something that is evil? Killing a kid is not health care. The pill kills because it doesn't allow a human life form (the fertilized egg/small human being) to attach to the woman's uterus....this is not health care, it's murder and a sin to Christians.

    June 30, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Kelso

    They do offer their employees 16 of the 20 mandated birth control methods, they don't offer plan be or IUD's which they feel is a form of abortion.

    June 30, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Silence DoGood

    @Dean
    Kids and blacks put Obama in office. Now we're going to have promicuous women who can't keep their legs together putting another liberal in the White House. And people wonder why this country is in decline.
    -------------–
    So kids, blacks and women are the problem huh?
    Don't forget what happened to Tea Party McDaniel when the "problem people" showed up to vote.
    This country was founded by people that England felt were "problem people".

    June 30, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Norma Vessels

    Women are not any more "free" with their affections, when they have good health care coverage, than they would be without it. You men seem to put the blame on women .. just so you can look at yourself in the mirror and mumble, "I'm the good guy, I'm the good guy."

    June 30, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. pkrbkr

    It issooooo disgusting that MEN can have vasectomies paid for, VIAGRA also paid for but women have no such benefits. Women, we MUST get the Rs out of office! Go out and VOTE this mid-term election!

    June 30, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  10. Hillary 2016

    ....A sad day for Women's Rights! ....Boooo to Hobby Lobby & the backwards religious-right, who are soooo wrong!

    June 30, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. Michael Hunt

    Great Day for Liberty!

    The libs love jamming these mandates and "I'm entitled to free stuff" garbage down peoples throats. The libs are totally dishonest making this a "women's rights" argument... no one is taking away someones birth control.

    Closely held companies should not be forced to pay for someone's birth control if it is against their faith. Employees are free to buy their own, or work somewere else.

    This is not a asset to dems – the GIMME GIMME GIMME my free stuff / I'm entitled crowd is already voting dems. Personal responsibility is an anathama to these parasites...

    June 30, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Tommy G

    "Today, the Supreme Court took an outrageous step against the rights of America’s women, setting a dangerous precedent that could permit for-profit corporations to pick and choose which laws to obey. This deeply misguided and destructive decision is a serious blow to Americans’ ability to make their own health decisions," declared House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
    -–

    What a lying sack of horse manure this woman is. This ruling IN NO WAY interferes with a woman's ability to make healthcare decisions.
    ====================================================================
    That's not what she said, Tommy. She said this ruling opens the door for for-profit corporations to pick and choose which laws they want to disobey. Hobby Lobby wants the best of both worlds. They want the courtesies and privileges that are extended to religious non-profit groups, while operating as a for-profit corporation.

    This is a bad precedent, and amounts to the justices legislating from the bench. They have "created" a legal standard, the language to be used, and a definition for who can be exempted from following the law.

    June 30, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. Gurgyl

    -it is ONLY a part of the provision. What is a big deal? Pith of the section will be taken away. SC is a shame.

    June 30, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Dean says:
    June 30, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm
    Kids and blacks put Obama in office. Now we’re going to have promicuous women who can’t keep their legs together putting another liberal in the White House. And people wonder why this country is in decline.

    See that smith. You're right, race has nothing to do with it.

    And Dean is so biased by hatred that he doesn't even know blacks are a minority and President Obama couldn't have even been elected without many progressive whites behind him. If every black person in America voted for him, it still wouldn't have been enough.

    June 30, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. Bryan Beus

    Court ruling could have gone either way.

    Ultimately, they decided that if women want to have sex with less of a risk of a child, they have to pay for the "morning after pill." Or ask their male partner to pay for it before they have sex. etc.

    They just can't ask the tax payer to pay for their sexual habits.

    That's it.

    It's not that big of a deal.

    June 30, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. guest

    pretty backwards ruling here. businesses have all the rights of solitary citizens and also all the protections of risk mitigation of incorporating several investors together, and all the financial breaks tax breaks. In what way can we have a free market with every advantage going to the companies? Not only does it allow companies to pull all kinds of shenanigans, but also allows them to crush any competing start ups under the weight of their legislative influences. We are establishing a new class in this country with rulings like these. It is no longer we the people, it is more like 'the corporate masters decide what is best for the little people'.

    June 30, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. digitalclips

    Well ladies, now you've heard from the religious right on this. They don't think you should have rights, next they will start on the rights for abortions and what after that?

    So go out and vote these right wing wackos out of office in the November elections. You hold the sway electorally in the USA make your voices heard.

    June 30, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. fresheating

    The ruling states the employer (very very small set of employers) are not forced to PAYfor it. Obamacare still mandates contraceptives needs to be made available to women, so the INSURER has to pay for it. They will increase their rates to PAY for it, then the employer STILL ends up paying for it. So this ruling does NOT DO ANYTHING.

    June 30, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. sonny chapman

    Corporations are NOT People My Friend. Unless they were BORN in the United States(14th Amendment). Corporations are not entitled to Free Speech, Worship or other Constitutional Protection unless the can die or be blown up in War, die because they don't get needed Health Care, struggle to educate their kids & ache to fill the car w/gas.

    June 30, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  20. tom l

    Because this court fight was really not about birth control at all. Like so many other companies, Hobby Lobby does not want to come out and voice their true objections because they would sound politically incorrect. This is about Hobby Lobby having to provide, which means pay, for better medical plans for its' employees. So, they hide behind populist arguments in an effort to chip away at the edges of the law, hoping to eventually have it overturned or repealed."
    ========

    I love how Rudy thinks he knows the motivations behind other people's actions – especially the people that he knows nothing about yet he can tell all of us what is behind Hobby Lobby's lawsuit. So, if it's all about greed, Rudy, then tell me why Hobby Lobby closes its doors on the busiest shopping day of the week (Sunday) and tell me why they pay their employees double minimum wage. Please give us all the insight into why they would do that.

    On another note, why do you feel it's the employer's responsibility to provide health insurance to its workers? Why must they do this? I remember when they were called "benefits" but now you have decided that it's not "benefits" any more. You want to call them "mandates". I'm just trying to figure out why the guy that pays me is also required to make sure I have health insurance. Makes no sense.

    June 30, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  21. JoeSunCity

    And Alice Stewart, a GOP consultant and radio talk show host in Arkansas who was a senior adviser the past two presidential cycles to the Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann presidential campaigns, said, "Here we go again, liberals using the faux war on women argument to distract from the real issue; the real issue here is Obamacare's attempt to undermine our religious liberties.”

    An adviser to 3 LOSERS! The only thing this ruling does is point out why this country needs singlepayer health care. Medicare for all NOW!!!

    June 30, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. barky

    Buy your own condoms.

    June 30, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. Open2most

    Birth control is NOT healthcare.

    June 30, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. Tommy G

    smartyhadaparty
    This is just a vicious cycle.... cut out easy access to birth control=more unwanted pregancies=more abortions.
    Now whose pro-life.
    -–

    How does this ruling stop women from walking into the hundreds of thousands of stores in this country and buying birth control? Your statement is pure lies and garbage.

    June 30, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. dick cheney, puppet master

    Dean says:
    June 30, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm
    Kids and blacks put Obama in office. Now we’re going to have promicuous women who can’t keep their legs together putting another liberal in the White House. And people wonder why this country is in decline.
    ________________________________

    How typical in so many ways, the least of which is one more member of the " party of personal responsibility " trying lump the blame for all of the country's issues on one segment of the population.

    You sir, blinded by your partisanship, is why this country is on the decline.

    June 30, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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