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N.H. candidates react to Hobby Lobby decision on partisan lines

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday that companies can deny coverage of birth control for religious reasons caused a partisan split between candidates for federal and statewide office in New Hampshire, with Democrats decrying the decision as a loss for women’s health care and Republicans cheering it as a win for religious freedom.

The Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide insurance plans that cover contraceptives. It allowed certain exemptions for churches and other religious organizations, but the court’s ruling says even for-profit companies whose owners have religious beliefs can refuse to cover birth control. The majority opinion, however, notes there are other ways for women to access that coverage.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Gov. Maggie Hassan, both Democrats, quickly sent out fundraising emails pegged off the decision.

“The Supreme Court’s appalling Hobby Lobby decision allowing corporations to deny women insurance coverage for birth control shows how high the stakes are in this election – we CANNOT lose our Democratic Senate majority,” read an email from Shaheen’s campaign signed by “Defeat Scott Brown.”

As governor in 1999, Shaheen signed a law that required insurance plans that cover prescription drugs to also cover contraception. That bill passed with broad bipartisan support. Last session’s Republican-led House tried to include a religious exemption in the law, but the bill did not pass the Republican-led Senate.

Scott Brown’s campaign – he’s running to unseat Shaheen – took several hours to issue a statement and did not directly comment on the court’s ruling, even when pressed for further comment.

“Scott Brown supports women’s health care and access to contraception but by injecting government into every aspect of our lives, Obamacare threatens all our freedoms. The best solution is to repeal it,” said Elizabeth Guyton, Brown’s communications director.

As a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, Brown co-sponsored the so-called Blunt Amendment, which would have written religious exemptions into the Affordable Care Act. That bill died in the Senate largely along party lines.

Bob Smith, a vocal pro-life candidate running against Brown in the GOP primary, applauded the decision in a statement. Jim Rubens’s campaign said he was out of town for a personal reason and unavailable to comment. He is an on-record pro-choice candidate but supported the high court’s recent buffer zone decision on First Amendment grounds.

In the other races, U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter also expressed disappointment over the ruling, while Republicans Gary Lambert and Marilinda Garcia, who are fighting for the nomination to challenge Kuster, sent out statements praising the ruling. Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, a Democrat running for re-election, also issued a statement calling the decision wrong for women and families.

In the governor’s race, Republican Andrew Hemingway called the decision a win for the Constitution and hit Hassan for her fundraising email.

“Let’s be clear, the Court sided with the Constitution, not a Corporation. We know Governor Hassan has doubled down on her adoration of Obamacare but she should know that the Constitution comes before political expediency,” he said in an email to supporters.

His Republican primary opponent, Walt Havenstein, said in a statement that he thinks the ruling demonstrated a flaw in Obamacare.

“I fully support women’s access to health care, including contraception,” he said. “However, the Supreme Court has exposed one of Obamacare’s fundamental flaws, which is that it imposes a one size fits all answer to every circumstance.”

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or or on Twitter @kronayne.)


U.S. Supreme Court rules Hobby Lobby, other ‘closely held’ companies can object to contraception on religious grounds

Monday, June 30, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday in favor of Hobby Lobby and two other family-owned companies that sought to withhold insurance coverage for certain types of contraceptives because it conflicted with the owners’ faith, representing a victory for religious freedom to some and a setback for medical freedom to others. In this case, the owners of the three closely held …

Legacy Comments32

Even Mega Liberal Lawyer Jonathan Turley says it has been an most awful week for the President. 1) NObama in violation of the 4th Amendment and privacy. 2) NObama was found in violation of separation of powers 3) NObama backed unions in violation of the First Amendment 4) NObama's signature legislation was found to be in violation of religion clauses. Only a LIDV can possibly think NObama is a brilliant constitution scholar now. Liberalism was dealt 4 death blows this week.

One thing a reader needs to take from this ruling is this is now the LAW - anyone that does not like it - TOUGH - their opinion is irrelevant - it is not going to change anything. - this ruling was caused by a 100% democrat awful law and it is just one of many such rulings to come.

This deserves to be repeated from the article--from the dissent by Justice Ginsberg—quoting verbatim from the earlier, more enlightened decision: "When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity." Superimposing their own beliefs onto their employees is exactly what Hobby Lobby’s owners wish to do. Women who for any number of valid reasons might choose an IUD as their method of birth control cannot do so, and work for Hobby Lobby. The choice of an IUD is a MEDICAL decision, but Hobby Lobby's owners have taken it upon themselves to impose their own moral judgement when it comes to modern medicine and women's vaginas. Interestingly enough, those on here supportive of the decision are the first to rail against any alleged imposition of Sharia Law into our society. But how is this not a decision that imposes a Christian version of Sharia law into secular society? First: It relies on a particular religious view as to when life begins. Second: it places the fertilized egg--implicitly at least— as co-equal in value to the life and well-being of the mother—which is contrary to the traditional teaching of Judaism and that of many, if not most Christian denominations. Soon, we'll be revisiting the slippery slope of a human life amendment. Count on Monty Python to restore some sanity to the situation—by reducing it to its absurd conclusion—“Every sperm is sacred”.

Currie tactic #7, change the subject, overblow the situation and then end is a ridiculous video or an extreme video and attempt to paint anyone who does not see things your way as "extreme". What is it Bruce, do you want government in your bedroom or not in your bedroom. Since when is abortion cost of any kind to be paid for by public funds or by an employer and why should it be?

There is no war on women in this decision or in the minds of Republicans. None. Hobby Lobby offers insurance that covers 20 kinds of birth control. They object to abortion and want to not cover 4 kinds of birth control. Can any progressive understand why many, many people find abortion or termination of a fetus as unseemly or repugnant? Those horrible Christians over at Hobby Lobby pay their employees 50% more than minimum wage. If you don't want their job benefits, don't take the job. But Obama went out and immediately made this a political issue to fundraise and demonize Republicans. If progressives can't see that, they are either disingenuous or just plain dumb.

"or in the minds of Republicans" Maybe not, but in the minds of 60% of the women in this country it is. It is mind boggling that right to lifers are the same people that want to curtail benefits for poor Americans. That scream about women having children to get on welfare, only care about the child in the womb but not in the room. Why are one person's rights more important than another's. Why is one person's right to wear a gun everywhere they go more important that the right of a person to feel safe in their schools or churches? You, who never answer any questions about your posts, do you have an answer why your rights are more important than someone elses?

I do answer questions to most of my posts but from Friday afternoon to Sunday, heir moderator is not on duty and few see the light of day. But this is about birth control. Answer my two questions, then we can have an intelligent discussion and discourse.

I don't answer questions on weekends? That's it?

Read my post and understand, the moderator often does not post what I write or it is posted days later. The moderator apparently does not work weekends. Is that clearer?

Also you are completely wrong( who woulda thought) . The decision also leaves the door open for HL not to offer any kind of birth control at all. A decision a day earlier ordered lower courts to relook at birth control mandates on private companies.

There are five kinds of birth control pills at Wal-Mart for under $9 per month. Costco has three for under $10 and my understanding is that Sam's are even cheaper than Wal-Mart. How many of these women who so desperately need birth control can't afford $9. It reminds me of the EBT card people at Market Basket using food stamps or EBT and then pulling a wad of cash out of their pocket to pay for the things that can't be paid for by out tax dollars. And since when did birth control, the passion and ecstasy of the moment become something everyone needs to "chip in" on??

It is indeed another salvo in the Republican war on women. In a pluralistic society, if you don't like abortion--then don't have one. Abortion as a medical option should be safe (in all the ramifications of that word, including being free from being screamed at as one enters a clinic); it's already legal ( though that hasn't stopped states' righters from imposing increasingly onerous restrictions on access to that right). Imposing undue burdens on access to birth control makes resort to abortion--as the birth control method of last resort, more likely. Anyone see the hypocrisy here? Which means that for women who are poor and live far from anywhere that abortion services are offered may be faced with the choice of bringing to term a child for whom they may not be able to provide, or terminating a pregnancy with a back-alley abortion. It's not a war on women--it's just a war on poor women--for now.

Well Bruce, if you don't like "under God" in the pledge, don't say it. If you don't like the manger on the town common, don't look. If you don't like someone driving a gas hog because it hurts the environment, look the other way. $9 per month pays for birth control. Let's get the names and addresses of all of the straw women that you have created and let's send them $9 per month.

No War On Women? A decision that only affects women. They still cover vasectomies and Viagra. So when a woman goes to work for HL their rights don't count.

Just checked, they do not cover Viagra but they do cover vasectomies. But then again, when you perform a vasectomy you are not killing a fetus. And yes, if a woman wants to kill a fetus or as you folks minimize it, a zygote, it is your right. Most of us also see it as your responsibility to pay for it. By the way, Hobby Lobby still pays for 16, dirt cheap $9-$12 prescriptions. And since when did terminating a pregnancy take a village and all women are entitled to have their moment of passion and possible "oops" paid for by friends, neighbors and strangers?

Personal responsibility for the consequences of your actions are everyone's responsibility now, didn't you know that?! Biologically, only women carry babies, so only women are affected by this ruling. There are plenty of times when things are unfair against men - do you equally complain about higher car insurance rates for men?

That is an asinine comparison.

Nope, concordcitizen, I never complain about car insurance rates, although it has gone up from $503 to $647 for the same coverage. tillie would fully understand the meaning of "asinine" however.

I don't for one minute believe that the justices who made this decision believe that there's no slippery slope. My prediction: It won't take long before one of these "closely held corporations," which employ half of the american public, decides it's against it's religious views to offer health insurance to same-sex spouses.---------- The thing that makes me most crazy here is the idea that it's ok for 1 person's religious views to trump the religious view of hundreds or even thousands, when the issue doesn't even directly affect that one person. If you don't believe in birth control, then don't use birth control. That's where religious freedom should end - where the religious freedom of another person begins.

This was no surprise. A Supreme Court that rules corporations are people is definitely going to rule on the side of the company. It is people that have no rights anymore. A right to send your kid to school without fear he will be shot or a belief that your vote counts.

or perhaps hearing the words, god, or jesus or OH NO, freedom, liberty or the Constitution. My god, get a grip Tillie!

They are perfectly free to use any birth control they want. A couple forms they may have to pay for themselves. If you find yourself continually needing Plan B, you should be considering better birth control or better choices. Their religious beliefs are being considered because it's their money paying part of the premiums. Simply taking insurance out of the employer/employee relationship would solve all these problems.

I completely agree with you that we should take insurance out of the employer/employee relationship. However, this real issue, as I stated, is not birth control. It's a true slippery slope situation - where the powerful can have their "religious rights" protected at the expense of the rights of the non-powerful. That's not the way religious freedom is supposed to work.

And by the way, I know no less than 4 women, personally, who use a hormonal IUD NOT as contraception (2 of them are not sexually active), but as medical treatment for very heavy menstrual bleeding. It costs over $1200 for an IUD if you have to pay for it yourself. The IUD is one of the forms that Hobby Lobby objects to, because they consider it akin to abortion. What the IUD actually does is make the uterus inhospitable to implantation by a fertilized egg. Its no different from the millions of fertilized eggs that fail to implant in hospitable uteri every year, just because. Do we say that God is causing abortions when this happens?

That is a little too much information but it is interesting that these four women share their menstrual situations with you.

We are already sliding down the slope. Re: the Wheaton College case. Seems the justices weren't finished.

Havenstein's non-answer to the Hobby Lobby question is consistent with his positions on other issues. As far as I can tell, his platform has a grand total of two planks: he is favor of leadership, and he is in favor of forming robotics teams in high schools and middle schools.

Don't you have shuttle duty today???

Either the Democrats didn't read the decision, or they don't understand it.

They don't want to read OR understand it Waltham.

...or BOTH

They just need to twist it to prove their imaginary war on women. As a woman, I don't feel controlled by anyone.

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