Minority of Senators Block Bill to Protect Women's Health

Bill Restores Decision-Making to Women, Not Employers

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet issued the following statement after a minority of senators used a procedural vote to block consideration of a bill that returns the ability to make health decisions to women and their families, rather than allowing employers to impose their beliefs on employees by denying benefits.

“There is a disconnect between Washington and the rest of the country when the Supreme Court and now Congress say it’s okay for employers, rather than doctors, to determine what types of health coverage should be available to women ,” Bennet said. “The Senate should have used this vote to empower women to make these decisions based on what they believe is best for them and their families. Instead, women are essentially being told they need to ask their employers for permission to access basic health services.”

The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act restores the contraceptive coverage requirement guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act and protects coverage of other health services. It ensures that employers cannot interfere in their employees’ decisions about contraception and other health services. The bill also restores the original legal guarantee that women have access to contraceptive coverage through their employment-based insurance plans by banning employers from refusing to cover any health coverage guaranteed to their employees and dependents under federal law. The bill keeps in place a provision exempting religious organizations.

During his time in the Senate, Bennet has worked to protect women’s health care access. In the Senate’s 2012 debate of the surface transportation bill, Bennet spoke out against and helped defeat an amendment that would allow employers to deny health coverage to women based on moral or religious grounds. He has also pushed the Administration to close the gender gap on recommended preventive health services.