It's been a tough summer for women's rights. On Tuesday, legislative leaders and women's health advocates are slated to testify at the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing to review two recent rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court. Fusion's Abby Rogers is live-blogging the hearing (a link can be found at the bottom of this article) beginning at 10:00AM ET.
Here's some background on what we expect the hearing to discuss: The committee is expected to review Hobby Lobby Stores & Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v Sebelius, according to The Huffington Post's Jennifer Bendery. In the decision, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held corporations — companies where just a handful of people hold at least half the shares — may be exempt from the Obamacare mandate that birth control be covered by companies. Separately, the committee may discuss a second ruling where the high court recently struck down Massachusetts' abortion clinic buffer zones. That case, known as McCullem v. Coakaley, established a 35-foot buffer-zone space between clinic property and demonstrators. Tuesday's hearing was initially slated to review the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013, which POLITICO reported would "make it illegal for state or local governments to put certain limits on abortion access."
Democrats recently presented legislation that would essentially veto the Hobby Lobby ruling by requiring most employers to provide federally required contraception regardless of whether they have religious objections, The Washington Post's Wesley Lowry reports:
"The Senate bill announced Wednesday by [Senator Patty] Murray would override the Supreme Court decision by requiring for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby to provide and pay for contraception and any other form of health coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The bill would override the Religious Freedom Act, forcing most employers to comply with federal health-care requirements despite their religious objections. It would, however, include an exemption for houses of worship and an accommodation for religious non-profits.
Such a bill will likely face a tough pathway, even in the Democrat-controlled Senate, where several Democrats from more conservative states who face tough reelection fights will have to weigh the potential for political backlash if they support it. Other bills that would have codified major Democratic positions into law, such as raising the minimum wage and paycheck fairness, have fallen short of passage in the Senate this year."
For more on the Hobby Lobby ruling, check out Fusion's ongoing coverage: