Of the members of West Virginia’s congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. David McKinley showed the most support for the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial decision regarding businesses providing contraceptives.
By a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court ruled some employers can’t be forced to provide employees with contraceptives if the business objects to the products on religious grounds. The new federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, required employers provide such health care to employees.
McKinley, the GOP representative for West Virginia’s 1st Congressional District, championed the high court’s decision as a “victory for the First Amendment.”
“This is a great day for freedom as family-owned businesses can no longer be forced to take actions that violate their religious beliefs,” McKinley said in a statement.
“All Americans should be free to exercise their religious liberty and not be forced to leave their convictions at the door if they own a family business.”
After a campaign event Monday afternoon in Charleston, U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., didn’t say whether she agreed with the court’s opinion.
“I believe women should have access to contraception, absolutely,” Capito said.
“But I believe the decision was based on a firm belief in our constitution of religious freedoms. I think we should protect religious freedoms.”
Democrats in the delegation were less enthusiastic about the decision.
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., argued he’s supported legislation that is consistent with the court’s actions Monday. Rahall contended changes need to be made to the Affordable Care Act, but some portions of the law are working.
“The Court’s ruling is consistent with legislation I have cosponsored and the policy I have advocated since before the law’s passage to ensure conscience protections for employers and individuals who purchase health insurance,” Rahall said in a statement.
“While protecting the many benefits the new health care law provides...we must continue working to fix and improve the law.”
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has consistently called for changes to the employer mandate and other reforms to the Affordable Care Act. However, like Rahall, he’s said in the past parts of the law are working.
He stayed away from making any comments about the specifics of the Hobby Lobby decision.
“The Supreme Court has ruled, and this is now the law of the land,” Manchin said, in a statement provided by a spokesman.
The delegation’s most ardent supporter of the Affordable Care Act has been U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. The longtime senator helped craft the legislation that created the Children’s Health Insurance Program and disagrees with several of Manchin’s proposed reforms.
He did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the ruling.
Writer Whitney Burdette contributed to this report.