It Shouldn't Have Been Close
(Editorial cartoon by Kevin Siers / The Charlotte Observer (February 28, 2012) and featured at McClatchy DC. Click on image to enlarge)
No, this isn't a another post dogging Rick Santorum, at least not specifically. What it is about, however, are all the people in Congress who agree that it's OK to strip women of rights, especially reproductive rights. It's about yesterday's vote in the Senate to defeat the Blunt Amendment.
The measure, an amendment proposed by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) to a highway funding bill, was tabled—and therefore effectively killed—by a vote of 51 to 48.
Only one Republican Senator, Olympia Snowe of Maine voted against the measure. Three Democratic senators supported it, Robert Casey (Pa.), Joe Manchin (W.V.), and Ben Nelson (Neb.).
The measure was among the most sweeping of several congressional efforts to broaden the current religious exemption in the birth control rule, which only fully exempts explicitly religious organizations such as churches from its requirement that worker health plans include contraceptive coverage with no out-of-pocket charges. [Emphasis added]
"Sweeping" is an understatement. The amendment would have allowed any employer, not just religious employers, to deny health care coverage on any treatment the employer had an objection to. In other words, women could be denied birth control pills or devices if the employer claimed his morality was offended. Of course, it also leaves the door open to deny coverage for blood transfusions if the employer's beliefs consider them of the devil, but the real target was women.
This shouldn't have been close, and yet it was. Three Democrats crossed over and voted for it. Only one Republican, Olympia Snowe crossed over, but only because she thought it was too broad and would allow for the denial of any kind of treatment as noted above.
Are we really going backwards in time, back even behind Roe v Wade?
That's why I chose the Kevin Siers cartoon.
I am not encouraged.