WASHINGTON (Updated February 16, 2012) — The U.S. Senate is expected to vote soon on a vital pro-life amendment offered by Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) to a highway bill that is pending on the Senate floor.
The most likely time frame for the vote now appears to be the week of February 27.
The text of the Blunt Amendment consists of the language taken from an NRLC-endorsed bill, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (S. 1467, H.R. 1179). It would amend the Obama health care law (“ObamaCare”) to prevent the imposition of regulatory mandates that violate the religious or moral convictions of those who purchase or provide health insurance.
The Blunt Amendment is Amendment No. 1520 to S. 1813, a highway bill.
When President Obama’s health care legislation was under consideration in the Senate in 2009, NRLC warned that a provision dealing with “preventive health services” would empower the Secretary of Health and Human Services to mandate coverage of any medical service, including abortion, merely by adding the service to an expandable list. Predictably, the Administration issued a decree in August, 2011, covering all FDA-approved birth control methods – a mandate that, unless overturned, will produce an irreconcilable conflict between conscience and the coercive force of government for many employers. In recent months, the Administration’s “birth-control mandate” has elicited vigorous protests from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Southern Baptist Convention, and many other religious leaders, as an attack on religious liberty
But this is not a debate only about the specific parameters of the birth-control mandate. Exactly the same statutory authority could be used by the Administration — as early as next year — to mandate that all health plans pay for elective abortion on demand.
The Blunt Amendment goes to the heart of the problem by amending the ObamaCare law itself, to prevent provisions of the law from being used as a basis for regulatory mandates that violate the religious or moral convictions of those who purchase or provide health insurance.
Please employ the easy-to-use tools here to send a message to your two U.S. senators, urging support for the Blunt Amendment. Just click www.capwiz.com/nrlc/issues/alert/?alertid=61005126&type=CO
To view a letter sent by NRLC to senators, which provides more details on this issue, go to www.nrlc.org/Federal/ANDA/NRLCletterBluntAmend.html.
To view additional information regarding the Obama Administration’s attacks on pro-life health care providers, go to www.nrlc.org/Federal/ANDA/index.html