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Blunt Amendment Defeated But Bishops Still Fighting Contraception, Funding Viagra

By March 1, 2012

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Morality is a tricky thing, a fat grey line that stands between black and white. So when Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) proposed an amendment that would give employers carte blanche to deny contraceptive coverage for women based on their own moral objections, the idea was more than troublesome. If passed, it would open a door that would give other "moral" objectors more opportunities to control and deny women's access to essential health care, basic care that enables them to determine their own well-being.

The proposal was defeated today in the Senate by a 51-48 vote along party lines with few exceptions. Democrats Robert Casey (Pennsylvania.), Joe Manchin (West Virginia), and Ben Nelson (Nebraska) joined Republicans in supporting the Blunt amendment.

Only Maine Senator Olympia Snowe crossed the aisle to vote with Democrats. But Snowe's earlier announcement that she won't run for reelection because of the bitterness and divisiveness in Washington has made her persona non grata with he party anyway.

According to Politico.com:

The vote is unlikely to end the fight over the contraception rule, though, as Blunt said the issue won't go away until the administration backs down and gives a broader religious exemption to the coverage mandate.

And Democrats -- who think they have a political winner if they can frame the debate as a women's health issue -- say they'll be there to refight the issue as many times as it takes.

"We know that this is just an attempt in a series of attempts," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said after the vote. "We're going to stand up; we're going to fight back."

It's worthwhile noting that The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops intends to forge on as it lobbies "moral" members of Congress to block contraceptive coverage on moral grounds in the House.

This, of course, is the same US Conference of Catholic Bishops that supports Viagra coverage in health care plans. Why? Because it's "neither hypocritical nor sexist" to help men pursue their god-given right to spread the love around: "Procreation is something the Catholic church encourages. And Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs can be of help."

Comments

March 2, 2012 at 12:03 pm
(1) Colleen Barry says:

STAY STRONG BISHOPS. “Religious Liberty”. Very close Vote 48 to 51, with all REPUBLICANS less Snowe and 3 Democrats also on the side of “Religious Liberty”.

March 2, 2012 at 11:24 pm
(2) Veronica says:

Catholic bishops, I say, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS! Since you can’t bear or even father babies (and being Catholic, I know about the “no marrying or having babies” rule for nuns and priests), you have no right getting involved in this.

March 5, 2012 at 6:24 am
(3) Hailee says:

Veronica-

Lesbians and infertile women can’t have babies. Should they have no say in the matter? Oh, and for the record, actual women are opposed to the mandate too. It’s not a sexist “WE WANT WOMEN TO BE SUBJECTED TO OUR WILL!!” thing. It’s a “we don’t believe birth control and sterilization are moral” thing.

March 7, 2012 at 1:48 am
(4) Melanie says:

Hailee- where do you get the idea that lesbians can’t have babies? A great many lesbians use artificial insemination (something else the Catholic Church prohibits) to get pregnant and have babies. There is not one word in the bible prohibiting either birth control or abortion. That prohibition was written by woman-hating old men to control women, demean them, treat them as second class citizens and brood mares, and to keep the church membership-and donations- growing so that old man in Vatican city can sit on a golden throne amid billions of dollars of art in luxury with servants galore while telling poor people who are starving and have no way to support kids that using a condom is a sin.

March 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm
(5) Veronica says:

Hailee, you didn’t carefully read my repsonse. I wasn’t talking about lesbians or infertile women; I was talking about MEN, specifically men who, by church law, are prohibited from fathering children. That is, they are men who will never know how it feels to be pregnant or endure hours of painful labor in order to bring a kid into this world; that’s why they should especially have no say in this matter. As for women, they certainly do have a say-so in THEIR OWN decisions to bear or not to bear but not when it comes to OTHER women regarding their own child-bearing decisions. In this regard, your rights end where mine begin and my rights end where yours begin. Capisce?

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