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Klobuchar, Democratic women urge Boehner to skip contraception vote

WASHINGTON — Sen. Amy Klobuchar joined her 11 fellow Senate Democratic women in asking House Republican leadership to not bring up for a vote controversial legislation allowing employers to opt out of extending health care coverage to contraception.

The senators wrote House Speaker John Boehner asking him to "abandon the promise you have made to bring legislation to the House floor similar to the Blunt amendment, which was defeated in the Senate last week, and which would turn the clock back on women’s access to health care."

The legislation in question would allow employers to deny certain kinds of health care coverage on religious grounds and it would overturn an Obama administration rule requiring employers cover contraception. The Senate voted down the measure last week, but Boehner said he would consider bringing a similar bill up for a vote in the House. No vote has been scheduled.

"For most American women, the battle over contraception was settled a half century ago," the letter said. "Yet, over the course of the past month alone, women have watched as panels on birth control have been convened without women, a young woman that dared to speak out in defense of birth control was subjected to vile name-calling, and extreme legislation, like the Blunt amendment, has been pushed to deny access."

All 12 Democratic women in the Senate, including Klobuchar, signed the letter, which they sent (not coincidentally) on International Women's Day.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.

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Comments (7)

Look out

I can only imagine whar Rush will call those women.

Religious objections

My religion believes that life begins when soul enters body, at the first breath. Is Boehner going to tell me my religion is wrong? If my religion is wrong, which religion or religions are correct? Is he going to try to ban the "wrong" religions? So much for keeping government out of our business.

You don't get it

"Is Boehner going to tell me my religion is wrong?"

No one in government has the right to impose laws that force religions to do something against their beliefs. It's in the First Amendment. You should read it sometime.

That's what government-mandated health insurance does and that's why Boehner would be on your side if that was really your concern, which of course, it isn't.

The liberals really have an advantage in public policy debate because their constituents is so ignorant of the constitution.

ignorant of the constitution

You might consider reading the Supreme Court's decision in Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990), and revisit your sense of who is ignorant of the constitution.

Which constituency is ignorant?

"No one in government has the right to impose laws that force religions to do something against their beliefs."

Peyote is illegal, despite its use in some Native American religious rituals.

Polygamy is illegal, although many Mormons believe it is required of their faith (not the mainstream LDS Church, I know, but there are others).

Snake handling, a part of some Christian worship services, is illegal.

Compulsory motor vehicle insurance is against many interpretations of Islam, but it is still required of everyone who drives.

Photo IDs are required of drivers, despite the belief of some faiths that they violate the prohibitions against graven images.

Shall I continue? As that undoubtedly-hostile-to-religion-bolshevik-atheist Antonin Scalia said, the Supreme Court has "never held that an individual’s religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the State is free to regulate.”

Mr. Tester,

Please don't complain that liberals or their constituents don't know anything about the constitution.

What you are actually unhappy about is that not everyone agrees with your own interpretation of the constitution.

That's why we have the courts. That's our system. It's in the constitution.

"No one in government

has the right to impose laws that force religions to do something against their beliefs."

I'm afraid you have this backward. The legislation being pushed by Republicans would force others who do not share YOUR beliefs to nevertheless live according to your beliefs.

The First Amendment bans the establishment of a state religion, but that is very evidently what the Right Wing Christians in the Congress want to do.