@JoniErnst, @BruceBraley issue statements on Hobby Lobby case

The two major party candidates who are competing for Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat released statements about the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in the Hobby Lobby case.  Read the candidates’ statements below:

At 11:46 a.m. — Braley Statement on the Supreme Court’s Decision Restricting Women’s Access to Contraceptives 
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today issued the following statement after the Supreme Court’s decision involving Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.:

“99 percent of women choose to use contraceptives—and many of those women gain that access through their employer-sponsored health care coverage. It’s deeply troubling that today the SupremeCourt decided that corporations can now unilaterally deny their employees access to birth control. Recent health care reforms had ended the days when women unfairly faced higher health-care costs and were routinely denied access to health care coverage and services—today’s decision moves us backward. Women’s health care shouldn’t be subject to the whims of corporations and we need to continue to fight to ensure that women have equal access to health services.”

At 2:18 p.m.  — Ernst Campaign Makes Statement on Burwell v Hobby Lobby Case
Des Moines, IA – Upon the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Burwell v Hobby Lobby case, Gretchen Hamel, Joni Ernst spokesman, made the following statement:

“Joni applauds the Supreme Court for reigning in a federal government that continues to overreach and apply a one-size fits all approach on Iowa and the American people.

This case was never about limiting individual healthcare decisions – but about pushing back against the violation of religious freedom by President Obama and Bruce Braley, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

The senator they both seek to replace issued a statement as well.

At 10:18 a.m. — Harkin: Supreme Court Decision Will Limit Access to Critical Preventive Care for Everyday Working Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

“Providing consumers with access to preventive care services with no cost-sharing was a top priority for me in crafting the Affordable Care Act.  This coverage empowers Americans to make the health care decisions that are best for them and their families. For men and women alike, decisions about medical care and personal health, including birth control, should be made in consultation with their doctor, not their employer.

“Contraception is essential health care. Ninety-nine percent of women— our sisters, daughters, friends, colleagues, and neighbors—will use some form of birth control in their lifetime, and strong majorities of Americans support the notion that women should be able to make their reproductive care decisions without interference from their employer.

“I disagree strongly with today’s Supreme Court’s decision, which will limit access to critical preventive care for everyday working people in Iowa and around the country. I am heartened, however, that the Court’s narrow decision would not extend to other guaranteed health benefits from the Affordable Care Act such as blood transfusions and vaccinations.

“While the Supreme Court has ruled, this fight is far from over. Along with my colleagues in Congress, I am deeply committed to ensuring that all Americans—men and women alike—can get the health coverage they need, and we will be exploring legislative remedies to ensure that affordable contraceptive coverage remains available and accessible.”

Rather than have its male chairman or male executive director speak, the Iowa Democratic Party chose to issue a statement from its female spokesperson.

At 9:44 am — IDP Statement on Hobby Lobby Case

Des Moines – As the Supreme Court rules today on the Hobby Lobby case, Iowa Democratic Party spokeswoman Christina Freundlich released the following statement:

“No woman should have her access to affordable birth control cut off because of her boss’ opinion.  Yet that’s what state Sen. Joni Ernst supports, along with a constitutional “Personhood” amendment that would ban some common forms of birth control entirely and outlaw a woman’s right to choose even in the event of rape, incest, or to save the life of a mother.  This includes keeping a woman with a life-threatening pregnancy from getting the care she needs and criminalizing common forms of birth control that help them stay healthy and plan for their families – it even blocks preventative care that reduces the risk of cancer and osteoporosis.

“Time and again, state Sen. Joni Ernst wants to put her extreme ideology before the rights of Iowa women to make their own medical decisions with their doctor. That’s not fair and not what Iowa women deserve.”

The Republican Party of Iowa’s new chairman issued a statement today, but it wasn’t about the Hobby Lobby case. It was about Jack Hatch, the Democrat running against Republican Governor Terry Branstad.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.