The measure, introduced by Senate Democrats Patty Murray (Wash.) and Mark Udall (Colo.) would effectively have reversed the 5-4 late June ruling by the High Court that owners of closely held companies can cite religious convictions to opt out of the ObamaCare mandate requiring employers to provide free contraceptives — including those that can cause abortion — to their employees.
“After five justices decided … that an employer’s personal views can interfere with women’s access to essential health services, we in Congress need to act quickly to right this wrong,” Senator Murray said by way of the bill's introduction. “This bicameral legislation will ensure that no CEO or corporation can come between people and their guaranteed access to health care, period.”
The “Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act” would have required that all businesses owners — despite religious convictions to the contrary — make available abortion-causing contraceptives to their employees.
“An employer that establishes or maintains a group health plan for its employees (and any covered dependents of such employees) shall not deny coverage of a specific health care item or service with respect to such employees (or dependents) where the coverage of such item or service is required under any provision of federal law or the regulations promulgated thereunder,” read the legislation.
With language that may well have come from Planned Parenthood's marketing department, the bill declared that “in addition to providing health benefits for women, access to birth control has been directly connected to women’s economic success and ability to participate in society equally. Women with access to birth control are more likely to have higher educational achievement and career achievement, and to be paid higher wages.”
Although the Senate wisely voted down the bill 56-43, the relative closeness of the vote prompted Christian and pro-life leaders to warn that religious freedoms are still under attack in America.
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