Today the Senate shut down Sen. Roy Blunt's controversial amendment which would allow any employer the right to refuse coverage for any health service in conflict with their religious beliefs.
The debate centered around women's health, namely contraception, and brought us that lovely all-male hearing on the issue and a lot of ungrounded slut shaming from conservative pundits. Most Democrats and Republican Olympia Snowe voted no on the measure, citing the amendment's broad language as a cynical attack on women's rights. Republican supporters of the amendment insisted it was simply an effort to protect the first amendment rights that ensure religious freedom. Last month President Obama announced a compromise, declaring insurance companies rather than religious institutions, would be responsible for covering contraceptives. Republicans say this is not the end of the debate: Blunt himself said the Supreme Court could have the final say.
What's most upsetting to me is that women's health needs are getting lost in the shuffle. It boils down to the simple fact that over 99% of women, regardless of religious affiliation, have used some form of contraceptive in their lives. The majority of women in their child-bearing years turn to hormonal birth control, and a large number of those women have trouble affording the high monthly cost. I hope we as women can remember this come November when it's time to elect officials who will represent with our best interests in mind.
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