Majorities In Senate And Public Support Birth Control Coverage | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Majorities In Senate And Public Support Birth Control Coverage

Play associated audio

The Senate has turned back an attempt to kill President Obama's new rules requiring most health insurance plans to provide contraceptives without additional cost.

The 51-48 vote against an amendment to an unrelated highway bill (Yes, that's just how the Senate works) was mostly along party lines.

Missouri Republican Roy Blunt, the amendment's sponsor said its goal was a simple one. "I believe what this does is protect First Amendment rights. The first freedom in the founding documents is freedom of religion," he said.

The amendment would have allowed employers to opt out of the mandate to cover birth control. It was the latest in a series of collisions between the right to follow one's conscience and the demands of society.

Senate Democrats, like New Jersey's Frank Lautenberg, said the amendment's language was so vague it would allow employers to deny coverage of any benefit to which they had a religious or moral objection.

"Imagine that your boss is going to decide whether or not you're acting morally," he said.

The Obama administration weighed in on the language last night, with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calling it, "a cynical attempt to roll back decades of progress in women's health."

After the vote, the Coalition to Protect Women's Health Care, a consortium of women's health advocates, said in a statement, "We believe, as do the majority of Americans, that health care decisions should be made between doctors and patients, not employers."

And there are fresh poll data out from the Kaiser Family Foundation that show that's the case. Overall, 63 percent of Americans support the birth control coverage mandate. But among Republicans that support drops to 42 percent, according to the poll conducted last month.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, April 27, 2015

An Irish documentary film tells the stories of two people on different sides of the Holocaust. A classic musical is on stage at a local theater.
NPR

Drop-In Home Chefs May Be An Alternative To Assisted Living

As people age, cooking can become difficult or even physically impossible. It's one reason people move to assisted living. One company offers a chef to cook healthy, affordable meals at home.
NPR

Congress May Be Forced To Intervene Again On Mammogram Recommendations

Six years ago, a task force caused a firestorm by saying women under 50 may not need routine mammograms. The controversy was so great, that Congress passed legislation overriding the recommendation.
NPR

Canadians Love Poop, Americans Love Pizza: How Emojis Fare Worldwide

A study analyzes more than a billion pieces of emoji data across 16 languages and regions to gauge how different nations communicate. Most emojis sent are happy faces and other positive symbols.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.