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Group of U.S. senators seeks to undo Trump’s conscience protections for employers on contraceptive mandate

Senator Patty Murray, NARAL, protest, abortion, support

Sen. Patty Murray (far right)

Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) thinks women need birth control in order to be “healthy” and “financially secure.” She also believes that “access” to birth control means something other than simply the ability to obtain a product or service — she believes employers should be mandated to provide it for their employees, whether they want to or not.

That’s why Murray and 35 of her Senate colleagues are attempting to remove the protections on employers with religious or moral objections, who object to being forced to pay for and provide employees potentially abortifacient birth control. On October 6, President Trump extended those protections by way of an executive order. Live Action News’ Rebecca Downs reported:

The mandate required employers to provide all forms of contraception to their employees, including sterilization and potential abortifacients. While the Obama administration did tout exemptions for religious organizations, the exemptions were so narrow they amounted to very little. Trump’s decision to lift the mandates comes after several years of legal battles.

Townhall.com reports on the “Protect Access to Birth Control Act,” introduced by Murray, writing, “The ‘Protect Access to Birth Control Act’ is brief, stating that the religious and moral exemptions ‘shall have no force or effect, and shall be treated as though such rules had never taken effect.'”

Townhall quotes Murray as saying that “President Trump wants to make birth control about ideology.” But forcing an employer to pay for and/or provide a drug or procedure that can potentially take a human life is very much an ethical issue — not just an issue of preventing pregnancy.

Murray and her colleagues, like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have painted this as an issue of “attacking women” and of “denying healthcare” to women. But as Live Action president Lila Rose noted on social media, “Abortifacient drugs are the antithesis of healthcare.”

Townhall.com quotes Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wa.), who says the Trump administration is “roll[ing] back women’s health and women’s rights.” But the Trump administration has done little more than allow employers to essentially tell employees that they must pay for their own abortifacient birth control themselves if they choose to purchase it — and yes, they can still choose to purchase it, just as they could before the mandate was ever put into place through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

Cantwell also stated that “employers should not be allowed to cherry-pick essential benefits.” However, anyone with health insurance (who has actually had to use it) knows that certain procedures, surgeries, and medications are often not covered by health insurance, whether the policy is provided by an employer or purchased independently. Many of these surgeries and medications are deemed medically necessary, even life-saving, yet they are denied.

The deep, dark secret that isn’t publicized by those who push birth control as a panacea for all ills is that birth control has not reduced unplanned pregnancies. As Rebecca Downs also noted, “Even with contraception usage, unplanned pregnancies have risen. And the Guttmacher Institute acknowledges that the contraceptive mandate failed to have much of an effect on women’s contraception usage.”

Mark Renzi of the Becket Fund told Townhall.com that “the previous administration pursued a needless and divisive culture war.” Murray and friends apparently want to continue that war, a failed idea, and have pulled religious and moral objectors into the fray.

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