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. patNY

    Hmmm....I wonder other laws businesses will now be able to ignore in the name of religious freedom? It's a slippery slope this decision surely is.

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

    As for me, I do find this ruling encroaching on my rights of keeping religion out of government. Then again, I'm not trying to force others to accept my opinions, religious or otherwise. As far as the less government thingy? Is not the SCOTUS considered "government"? And did they not just restrict women's access to certain birth control coverage that can be offered to certain corporate employee's (considered to be a for profit employment corporation) under religious pretext?
    ======
    It was govt that encroached on the businesses to begin with. The law forced businesses (and those that own them) to adhere to rules that were against what they believed in and what required them to do something that was against their beliefs. They did not restrict a thing. Are you saying that women don't have access to birth control? They still have that access. Nobody has taken that away from them. All that happened was that the govt cannot impose themselves on a business for doing nothing illegal. So please tell me how the govt just restricted a woman's access to anything. They didn't. They just said that a business doesn't have to pay for something that goes against their legal beliefs.

    June 30, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Deej

    Viagra costs $30 per pill. How come that's covered? Does the same boss who has "religious problems" with giving a woman access to the pill have no problem giving men access to erection pills? What does their religion say about that? If they're that religious why don't they believe impotence is God's way of saying "you shouldn't procreate"? At some point women are going to need to band together and start demanding that the court also remove Viagra and similar drugs from coverage. As soon as these misogynistic jackdonkeys realize their erections are endangered, you'll see an amazingly hypocritical outpouring of rage from the grey old men in politics and on the bench, not to mention Corporate America.

    June 30, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    You reap what you sow GOP. It's bad enough the GOP hates minorities, but their war against woman is going to permanently destroy their party. Proceed!!!

    June 30, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. bobo

    FYI.... Buy your own Contraception! If you can't afford it..... there is always planned parenthood!

    June 30, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    The war against the womb looms on. This is going to backfire so badly in the republicans faces. If not in the midterms, definitely in 2016.

    June 30, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. FLIndy

    The really sad thing is that it is highly doubtful this was about religion freedom at all. This was just an attempt by the conservative S.C. to dismantle Obamacare and throw their weight around. This decision is a slippery slope as it opens up an excuse for businesses and corporations to not provide health insurance. Most people cheering about this decision don't even care about birth control, they are just Obama haters. Any woman that is against birth control needs to have their heads examined, period!!

    June 30, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. 4Truth

    Amazing how people can compare civil rights for blacks with forcing people against their will to pay contraceptive to enable irresponsible behavior.

    June 30, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    "They didn't. They just said that a business doesn't have to pay for something that goes against their legal beliefs."

    HAHAHAHA ... legal beliefs, eh?

    Yeah, well. Corporations have just become religious people, too.

    Rah. Rah.

    June 30, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    ...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.

    Isn't this exactly what Obama, the DOJ, and the rest of the stooge squad is already doing to the Americam people????

    June 30, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  11. GOP = Greed Over People

    Thou shalt pay for ED meds to impregnate your woman, and she shall serve as a full term incubator!

    The cons 11th Commandment.

    June 30, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  12. Rick from NH

    ...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.

    Isn't this exactly what Obama, the DOJ, and the rest of the stooge squad is already doing to the Americam people????

    June 30, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  13. DerBaron

    If the Democrats can motivate with it, ... perhaps. The Republicans have certainly been motivated on this and 2014 ... but not seeing how this decision gets them any new recruits for 2014 (not that the justices were thinking about 2014 with this decision).

    June 30, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  14. Jen Toth

    Edited! The right will have you believe this is about religious freedom. The left will have you believe this is about women's rights. The truth is that it is neither. It's about fundamental differenes in philosophy on the public sharing the burdon of the common good of the community. The right pushes for personal accountability and 'every man for himself', while the left pushes for a more socialist (not with a capital s) approach to take care of the common needs. The problem is this. If we do it the 'rights' way, then the have's and have-nots are driven further apart. If we do it the 'lefts' way, then the status quo is pulled down. The truth that nobody wants to admit is that the answer is somewhere between the two, and we don't want to live in either society in which the right and left get their way. As for me, I prefer the lefts way to care for my fellow man, but I agree with the rights way that it should't be the government's responsibility to make me act that way.

    June 30, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. Dr. Brown

    If you seriously think this has anything to do with religious beliefs, your a fool, its all about the big plan: kill the aca, by any means possible. If the owners of hobby lobby are so rooted in their religion, why let your investments support the same behavior you so adamantly oppose, oh wait a minute, they make money off those, never mind, hypocritical p.o.s., using religion to further their political objectives, wonderful people just wonderful. SMH, at the holier than you BS

    June 30, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    It really interesting that the GOpers and their minions on here are so quick to endorse a decision that has the effect of driving up the cost of health care under the guise of religious freedom. When will the GOP quit being the party of opt-out and start to embrace our responsibility we all have to our society? Please, don't bother with the arguments about who decides what is good for society: they are really old coming from the people who make it a point of using the State to stick their noses into people's sex lives. The hypocrisy of the Ayn Rand acolytes is coming home to roost and it could not happen to a more deserving group of people.

    June 30, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  17. Agog

    This has to be the stupidest logic I've ever heard or seen:

    Evidently, all young women believe that religion should be banned from the face of the earth. Oh, and they will all voter "correctly" next time out. This assumes too many of them voted improperly last time. That means that DNR spokesperson and the writer believe that young women were either "stupid" and voted GOP orrr they were apathetic and lazy the last election and just didn't vote.

    And I suppose that YOUNG women don't believe in god or protecting religious beliefs either. This ARTICLE should piss off women more than a handful of companies that won't have to pay for morning-after pills.

    June 30, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. Tommy G

    If this atrocity was allowed to stand by the USSC why couldn't the far left extremist Democrats mandate that all companies pay for women's abortions? The answer is THEY COULD because of course they falsely call it "healthcare". Thankfully MOST the USSC saw this nightmare scenario as the next move by the left.

    But bottom line, these are the disasters you invite when a government starts interfering in every aspect of our lives. Eventually we will have no rights left at all. The rights of the leftist commune will supercede all individual rights.

    June 30, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    This what happens when an over reaching, ever intrusive federal government just continues its march its way into every aspect of our lives with more and more laws. It is INEVITABLE for there to eventually be a show down as the rights of the individual are gradually and steadily washed away, little by little, with every new law, every new federal regulation.

    We no longer control our lives and even our paychecks because the government has placed itself over us and our property. The leftist government has even said it has the right to take our personal property from us to give to others if it means the government will benefit by collecting higher taxes. If we continue down this path, we will have no rights left.

    June 30, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. GOP = Greed Over People

    Ah, the GOP's outreach program to all women.

    Those that are menopausal will shower the GOP in accolades, those in their child bearing years, perhaps, not so much...

    June 30, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. goingsearching

    women need to stay home and buy their own contaceptives

    June 30, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  22. Dumbas[R]ocks

    The abysmally stupid [R]ightwing responses on this thread should be a god-send to [D] office seekers. This absurd and tellingly vacuous commentary from the right should be copied down and used as campaign material by all [D] candidates. These comments ARE the new [R] party: devoid of intellect, devoid of morals, devoid of true conservatism. The [R] party is a bankrupt organization in everything EXCEPT that which should have the LEAST meaning in elections: money. I pray the [D]s will hit hard with the truth this next campaign.

    June 30, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. Chief P

    I'm amazed that anyone thinks the GOP is for anyone other than elderly, white males. This is not new stuff here and I say it as an elderly white male. It disgusts me but it is just plain fact and shouldn't surprise anyone. If you look at the 5-4 ruling, you will see it was all males that voted to allow companies to all of a sudden declare a religious exemption and Thomas is more white than anyone on the bench. Look at his wife. She is also white.

    June 30, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  24. Betty

    Some religions prohibit blood transfusions. Maybe that will be in the next lawsuit filed.

    June 30, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. tom l

    Lynda/Minnesota

    "They didn't. They just said that a business doesn't have to pay for something that goes against their legal beliefs."

    HAHAHAHA ... legal beliefs, eh?

    Yeah, well. Corporations have just become religious people, too.

    Rah. Rah.
    =====

    So when are you going to tell me about how this ruling restricted women from getting birth control. You told me that the govt "did they not just restrict women's access to certain birth control coverage" and I am asking you to explain how that has happened with this ruling. What did they do to "restrict" access? Did they take away certain birth control? Did they ban that birth control? Please elaborate on that point rather than our obvious disagreements on business profits and responsibilities?

    June 30, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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