Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blunt amendment—An attack women’s rights and access to health care.

The Senate is expected to vote Thursday on the so-called Blunt Amendment which would override President Obama's contraception coverage rule and allow any employer to refuse to cover any kind of health care service for religious or moral reasons.  The Republicans have been arguing that the amendment is just about religious freedom and that it is unrelated to women's health.  The Amendment isn’t expected to pass but Republicans are offering it anyway in a cynical effort to create some kind of wedge issue for the 2012 election claiming that Obama is somehow attacking Religion by support women’s rights to a form of preventive health care that is universally recommended by the medical community.

CB writes in response to one of my posts defending the Blunt Amendment:

The Catholic Church is one of the largest providers of charity in the U.S. The Church wants to function as it always has, free of government intervention.  The Blunt Amendment simply uses exact text from the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (S. 1467), so the church can function as it did before Obamacare.  So basically no one wants anything other than to function with the same "Religious Liberty" as the Church always has. Did you really think everyone who warned us about the Obamacare Mandates would just say- "Oh, OK"- we didn't really want the "Religious Liberty" our country was founded on anyway.

Well CB, if you are wondering why the Blunt Amendment and the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act contain the same wording, it is because Blunt introduced both of them.  Neither one will pass I’m happy to say.

Also, the Blunt Amendment has nothing to do with protecting religious freedom.  It is an attack on the rights of women, an effort to allow the extreme religious right to impose its theology on other Americans, and a not so subtle effort to destroy Obamacare by allowing any employer to opt out of providing health insurance coverage simply by declaring his/her “moral or religious” opposition.

The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) has posted an excellent analysis of the problems the Blunt amendment would cause should it pass.  Among other things, if passed, the Blunt Amendment would put CEOs between women and their doctors by making it possible for them to deny women employees or any employees for that matter access to health insurance coverage the CEO determined was against his “religious beliefs” or “moral convictions.” 

Read the Blunt Amendment and Respect for Rights of Conscience nonsense at these links:

Blunt Amendment

Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (S. 1467)

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