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November 24, 2014

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Chances slim for law to blunt court’s ruling on contraceptives

It’s got a catchy name, but a proposal by Senate Democrats to override a Supreme Court decision striking down part of a federal mandate requiring companies to provide women with birth control isn’t likely to become law anytime soon.

The Not My Boss’ Business Act would guarantee women can receive birth control through health insurance plans issued by their employer, even from certain for-profit companies whose owners object to providing contraceptives on religious grounds.

“This is a horrible decision,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said of the Supreme Court’s June 30 ruling in a case brought by Hobby Lobby. The court ruled that certain companies can exempt themselves on religious grounds from offering contraceptive care.

The bill to reverse the ruling could be up for a vote in the Senate as soon as next week. But Senate Republicans are likely to block it.

House Democrats are pushing their own version of the Not Your Boss’ Business Act, and Nevada’s Democrats were quick to sign on.

“The private beliefs of corporations and employers have no place in the health decisions of individual women,” Rep. Dina Titus, a Las Vegas Democrat, said in a statement trumpeting the legislation she introduced with the Pro-Choice Caucus.

“A woman’s fundamental right to make her own health choices in consultation with her doctor should not be subject to the discretion of her boss’s religious views,” Rep. Steven Horsford, a Democrat representing the northern Las Vegas Valley and rural areas north, said in a statement announcing he would cosponsor the bill.

The legislation in the House likely faces an even greater hurdle than in the Senate: House Republicans, who control the chamber, are unlikely to bring the bill to a vote. Speaker of the House John Boehner, of Ohio, praised the Supreme Court decision as “a victory for religious freedom.”

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