Archive | January 2014

House & Senate Democrats File Amicus Briefs in Support of Affordable Care Act Contraception Benefit

91 House Democrats, 19 Senate Democrats, and the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) filed separate amicus briefs Tuesday in support of the contraceptive coverage benefit in the Affordable Care Act. NWLC’s brief was joined by 68 other organizations, including the Feminist Majority Foundation.

The briefs are for the Supreme Court case Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, and the House’s brief includesConestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v Sebelius. Craft store Hobby Lobby filed a federal lawsuit in November 2012 against the Obama Administration over the mandate requiring employers to provide coverage for FDA-approved contraceptives, including the pill and IUDs, without co-pays or deductibles. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, a wood cabinet manufacturer, are arguing that this benefit violates the religious beliefs of these corporations and that they should not be required to provide health insurance plans that cover certain types of birth control.The Supreme Court agreed to hear the challenge to the ACA last November, and it is currently pending.

The briefs emphasize the mandate’s benefits to millions of Americans who will now be able to access crucial preventive health care, and they attempt to demonstrate that the requirement does not violate the free exercise of religion. “To them, it’s a debate about ‘freedom,’ except of course the freedom for women to access care,”said Senator Patty Murray (D-WA).

TAKE ACTION: Send a clear message to the Supreme Court that companies should not be able to use religion as cover to discriminate against women. Leave stories and tell the Court why BC coverage matters to you! Share the petition online using the tag #MyBodyMyBC!

Media Resources: National Women’s Law Center 1/28/14; Senator Murray; Feminist Newswire 9/13/12, 11/26/13; Feminist Majority Foundation

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Hillary Clinton is the biggest front-runner ever for the Democratic Presidential Nomination!

That’s according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, which finds former Secretary of State Clinton with a 73-12 lead over Vice President Joe Biden in a hypothetical 2016 Democratic primary race. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) gets 8% of the vote. 

As the Washington Post points out, Clinton’s 61-point lead is nearly three times as large as it was in 2006, when the conventional wisdom held that she would be the 2008 Democratic nominee. In 2006, she took 39% of the theoretical vote, compared to then-Sens. Barack Obama (D-IL.) and John Edwards (D-N.C.). But this time, her support is well over 50%.

The next-largest lead for a Democratic candidate over his theoretical primary foes was then-Vice President Al Gore’s 37-point advantage in March 1999.

Clinton hasn’t yet made a decision on whether she’ll enter the race, but almost everyone in the world of politics expects her to run. She has said that she will make a decision this year.

According to the new poll, 58% of registered voters have a favorable view of Clinton, compared to 38% who view her unfavorably. That includes a 52-41 favorable-to-unfavorable split among political independents.

The Republican primary field is much more crowded. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, leads the field with 20% of the vote among leaned Republicans. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (18%), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (13%), and Sen. Ted Cruz (12%) are next in line.