Blunt Amendment Contraception Fight Comes Dead Center Today | Catholic Bishops Make Big Threats | Republican Retreat?
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Anne is reading …
One of the most important votes for or against women’s health care will occur in the US Senate today, known as the Blunt amendment. Introduced by Republican Senator Roy Blunt, the bill “is about the First Amendment” in his own words. The Blunt Amendment allows employers to opt out of health care coverage they disagree with on moral grounds.
This so-called ‘conscience’ amendment is meant to curtail a recent Obama administration decision mandating that key women’s health care needs like birth control by covered by religious employers through a compromise that puts the insurance company and woman in direct contact. The Obama administration ruling doesn’t apply to churches but does apply to hospitals, universities and businesses operated by religious institutions.
Catholic bishops are in revolt over the regulation allowing their employees to receive contraception, even though 98% of Catholic women say they now or have previously used birth control, ignoring the church’s insistence that contraception is a mortal sin, punishable by going to hell.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid has scheduled the vote, which will require every senator to take a stand on the Blunt amendment. Retiring Republican senator Olympia Snowe has said she will vote against it. Democratic senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia will vote for the Blunt amendment.
The Blunt bill has 37 cosponsors, including Mass. Sen. Scott Brown, who is being challenged for his Senate seat by Elizabeth Warren. Brown’s decision should give momentum to Warren in Massachusetts, where educated men and women generally believe in a separation of church and state.
Supreme Court Justice Scalia, one of the most conservative judges on the court, has already ruled that the US Constitution doesn’t guarantee or imply the wide-ranging religious or moral exemptions sought by the Blunt amendment. Based on Justice Scalia’s interpretation, we agree that the Blunt Amendment IS about controlling women’s bodies and not religious freedoms.
Anne’s Facebook page was pretty raucous yesterday, filled with defiance as Republicans move against women’s health all over America. Anne has always linked women worldwide, believing that saying Saudi Arabian women can’t drive is related to the same patriarchal mentality that gives Catholic bishops the final say over women’s access to contraception in America.
Our friend Max Dashu reminds us that Nubian women drove chariots and Islamic scholars agree also that women drove chariots in the lands now called Saudi Arabia. The arguments that face women worldwide today are designed to suppress women’s freedoms and deny our history. Learn more about women’s real history before monotheism at Max Dashu’s Suppressed Histories Archives.
Are Republicans Nervous?
Are Republicans Backing Away from the Contraception Fight? The American Prospect
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) believes states have right to outlaw contraception. “Why should I care?”
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