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Senate Democrats fail in effort to overturn Hobby Lobby Ruling

An effort by Senate Democrats to override the recent Supreme Court ruling with regard to contraceptive covered fell short of the needed 60 votes. While the measure most certainly would have failed in the Republican controlled House of Representatives.

Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) (C) speaks with Democratic leaders of the U.S. Senate following a procedural vote July 16, 2014 in Washington, DC. The vote, which Democrats lost by two votes, was aimed at addressing the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) (C) speaks with Democratic leaders of the U.S. Senate following a procedural vote July 16, 2014 in Washington, DC. The vote, which Democrats lost by two votes, was aimed at addressing the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court inPhoto by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Still Senate Democrats may have accomplished their purpose of putting Republican votes on the record, intending, yet again to make abortion a central tenet of their fall campaigns.

But writing in The Wall Street Journal, GOP Senators Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Deb Fisher of Nebraska note "Nothing in the Hobby Lobby ruling stops a woman from getting or filling a prescription for any form of contraception. Those who distort the court's decision insist that one cannot support religious liberty and also support access to safe, affordable birth control. But these are principles that we, and millions of others, support. Americans believe strongly that we should be able to practice our religion without undue interference from the government. It's a fundamental conviction that goes to the very core of our character—and dates back to the founding of our nation. The Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case, which protects rights of conscience, reaffirmed our centuries-old tradition of religious liberty."

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz said the measure was part of an ongoing attack on religious liberties. Cruz said, "When did the Democratic Party declare war on the Catholic Church? Right now, the Obama administration is litigating against the Little Sisters of the Poor, trying to force them to pay for abortion-producing drugs." [NPR]

In a press release, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters said, “Let’s be clear: Today’s vote was not about health policy but about America’s commitment to religious freedom. Quite frankly, despite the wishes of Planned Parenthood and their allies on Capitol Hill, Christian business owners should not be forced to violate their religious beliefs by providing for abortion.”