Supporters of the Blunt Amendment “are on the wrong side of history,” says Catholic leader
By a vote of 51-48 this morning, US Senators blocked an amendment sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) that would have allowed any employer or insurance company to override an individual employee’s right to access comprehensive healthcare and therefore to make healthcare decisions based on their own beliefs.
Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said, “This amendment was a direct attack on coverage for healthcare services, including no-copay contraceptive coverage, under the Affordable Care Act. It is likely just the first in a long line of maneuvers by conservatives who oppose access to a range of reproductive healthcare services, not just family planning, for everybody. We know that the vast majority of sexually active women, Catholic or not, use family planning. The intent of these conservative forces, with the full support of the nation’s 271 active Catholic bishops, is to deny coverage for all.
“Bishop William Lori, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, was one of the first to issue a statement after the vote, promising that this morning’s defeat would not deter the bishops, who ‘will build on this base of support as we pursue legislation in the House of Representatives.’
“Happily, we have seen many Catholic policymakers stand up in support of the availability of comprehensive contraceptive coverage. Legislators who oppose family planning are on the wrong side of history, and several may find this out the hard way when it comes to this year’s election cycle.”