Dems Hit GOP Senate Candidates Over Hobby Lobby, Birth Control

Democrats eagerly pounced on the opportunity to tie the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision to some of this election cycle's highest-profile candidates.

A majority of the court's justices ruled Monday that closely-held corporations can't be required to cover emergency contraception and intrauterine devices, which they find morally objectionable.

After the ruling, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee issued a press release arguing that Senate hopefuls like North Carolina state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) and Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) support "radical, anti-woman measures that would go even further than today’s decision and block birth control access."

The measure the DSCC is referring to is personhood legislation, which would grant legal protections to fertilized human eggs. Such legislation could, in practice, ban some forms of birth control and in-vitro fertilization.

Democrats are presumably attacking Republicans over the Hobby Lobby decision and the issue of fetal personhood to motivate female voters to show up at the polls in November.

In January, Tillis told McClatchy that he supports a personhood amendment to the U.S. constitution. Gardner was a sponsor of the Life Begins at Conception Act in 2012 and 2013, though he said in March that his feelings on the matter had changed.

Reps. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and state Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), count among the other Republican Senate candidates who have voiced support for personhood legislation or personhood amendments.

Tillis characterized the Court's decision in favor of Hobby Lobby and other closely-held corporations as a win for religious freedom. Gardner similarly called the ruling a victory for religious liberty, though he also said he wanted the Food and Drug Administration to make oral contraceptives available over-the-counter so birth control pills are more widely available.

A Monday press release sent from Sen. Kay Hagan's (D-N.C.) campaign had a subject line blaring that Tillis' health care stances are "even more fringe" than the Supreme Court's ruling.



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