Senate defeats amendment allowing employers to refuse contraception coverage

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birth control pills

Earlier today, the Senate voted down a proposed amendment that would have enabled employers to refuse certain health-care benefits, i.e. birth control and family planning, on moral and religious grounds. The vote was divided almost exclusively along party lines, though Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine — a moderate Republican who recently announced her impending retirement — joined Democrats in rejecting the controversial measure. 

"Imagine that your boss will decide whether you're acting morally," said Sen. Frank Lautenberg. "It's appalling that we're having this debate in the twenty-first century." But Sen. Roy Blunt, who introduced the measure that has since become known as the "Blunt amendment," seems confident that this isn't the end. "This issue will not go away unless the administration takes it away by giving people of faith those First Amendment protections" to deny medical services that "conflict" with their religious beliefs, Blunt said.

For his part, Mitt Romney is just confused by the whole thing. Initially, he declared his opposition, saying he'd rather not delve into "questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a woman." Shortly thereafter, he claimed to have misunderstood the question and came out in support of the ultra-conservative measure.

Nice to see everyone taking time to thoughtfully consider these pressing political issues, isn't it?