Blunt Amendment Tabled
51-48. By a hair! It truly is ludicrous that so many legislators would elevate the ‘conscience’ of employers and insurers above the ‘conscience’ of individuals and their doctors to determine medical treatment.
Interesting debate. Here are some highlights:
Against the Amendment Senators Frank Lautenberg (NJ) and Bernie Sanders (VT):
Lautenberg quoted Rush Limbaugh as saying that women who want access to contraception are “prostitutes”.
Sanders: “There is growing frustration that members of Congress, mostly men, I should add, are trying to roll back the clock on women’s reproductive rights, in this case the right of women to receive contraceptive services through their insurance plans. This attack is unfair and I hope that men will stand with women to fight to protect this basic right. And let me add that if the US Senate had 83 women and 17 men instead of 83 men and 17 women, this bill would never even make it to the floor.”
I can’t find Senator Barbara Boxer’s footage, but she rocked!
On the other side, for the Amendment, listen to Senator Vitters, followed by Senator Bennet (CO) and Senator Cantwell both Dems who questioned why this amendment was introduced in the middle of a bill about transportation and jobs:
The Amendment and other ‘conscience’ legislation just like it are thinly veiled attempts to gut the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare act, that, for all its flaws, will give women much greater access to necessary preventative healthcare.